WP to stick to strengths against well-balanced Sharks

John Dobson (Gallo Images)
John Dobson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - After Saturday's semi-final win over the Blue Bulls at Newlands, Western Province coach John Dobson said he may have erred tactically. 

The hosts emerged as 35-32 winners after an extra time humdinger and, reflecting on the match, Dobson felt that WP could have been more responsible with their approach. 

The mantra has been to play an exciting brand of ball in hand rugby, and that has been the case throughout the season so far. 

WP have been a cut above the rest when it comes to attack, scoring 38 tries in their six group matches, but Dobson felt that they maybe should have approached the semi-final against the Bulls with a little more caution. 

"We will stick to our strengths. Obviously in playoff rugby it is a bit different with different pressure," assistant coach Dawie Snyman said on Monday.

"We must get our balance right, though.

"At stages where we were attacking this weekend (against the Bulls) it probably wasn’t on and then at stages where we kicked, we didn’t kick well. One of our strengths this season is not just attacking, but having a good kicking game as well and that wasn’t great this weekend."

The Sharks will bring a different challenge this weekend as the tournament reaches its climax, with the visitors expected to run hard and straight at the WP defence. 

The Durbanites are a physical outfit, but they have also shown an ability to keep the ball alive with nifty offloads and quick passing. 

It might force Dobson and Province to think more about playing in the right areas on the field.

"The Sharks are a well-balanced side," Snyman added.

"They’ve got a good set piece but they’re also very physical and their forwards like to offload so they can get the ball away and keep it alive.

"With Louis (Schreuder), Rob (Du Preez) and Curwin (Bosch) they’ve got a good kicking game and their centres are hard-running.

"It’s a tough team to prepare for so we will have to be at our best."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.


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England 219
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England 219
Pakistan 326 & 137/8 (44 ov)
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