Sharks boss Du Preez: WP, as hosts, will feel pressure

Robert du Preez (Gallo Images)
Robert du Preez (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - With just a day to go until the Currie Cup final in Cape Town between Western Province and the Sharks, mind games are in full swing.

Province go into the match as favourites, but the Sharks are desperate for a win having been knocked over at home by the same opposition in last year's final.

That match was played in Durban where 18 unanswered points in the second half saw John Dobson's WP stun Robert du Preez's Sharks and the Kings Park crowd. 

This year the tables have turned, and it is WP's turn to host. 

It didn't take Du Preez long to point out that hosting the final is not always as much of an advantage as it seems.  

"There is always a lot of pressure on you playing at home," Du Preez, always a man of few words, said from Durban on Thursday.

"We're grateful to be in the final and now it's up to the team that really performs on the day."

WP were very nearly dumped out of the competition last weekend in a 35-32 extra time win over the Blue Bulls in a contest that lasted 100 minutes. 

"I think it could potentially have an effect on them," Du Preez said.

"They played for an extra 20 minutes and were stressed for an extra 20 minutes. It's going to come down to all those 1%ers on the day.

"The game for me showed that you can't underestimate anyone. The Bulls were unlucky not to win that game."

Had that happened, the Sharks would be hosting Saturday's final. 

And while that is not the case, Du Preez believes that he took one key learning from watching the Bulls come to within a conversion of knocking the defending champions out of the tournament.

"You have to put them under pressure," Du Preez said.

"They don't like pressure.

"It's up to us now."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.

Teams:

Western Province

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak

Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 JJ Engelbrecht

Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Tyler Paul, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman 

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Jacques Vermeulen, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Leolin Zas

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