Province perfect the counter-attack

Sun, 17 Aug 2014 12:53
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Western Province have put their blistering start to the Currie Cup campaign down to their ability to turn defense into attack in a blink on an eye.
 
Western Province have put their blistering start to the Currie Cup campaign down to their ability to turn defense into attack in a blink on an eye.
 
Having scored 76 points in two games, the usually defensively minded Province team have become a major attacking threat - two four-try-bonus-points attesting to that.
 
WP coach Allister Coetzee has conceded that in the past, his team were not ones for exploiting attacking chances from turnover ball, rather opting to kick possession away in favour of territory.
 
However, the coach has seen his teams awareness in their kicking game sharpen.
 
"The key to our back-to-back bonus-point wins has been the way we have learnt to switch from defence to attacking mode," Coetzee said after his side's 41-17 victory against the Blue Bulls on Saturday at Newlands.
 
"In the past, we were not always prepared to exploit turn-over possession but we are attaining a balance between attack and defence."
 
Coetzee said players were showing a greater understanding of their specific roles in the team and that made for greater all-round performances.
 
"There is a greater awareness of when to kick and when to run with the ball.
 
"We are no longer tentative when we suddenly get turn-over possession.
 
"Our pack is securing good front-foot ball and the new leadership is seeing to it that we don't stray from the way we set out to play.
 
"Our performances have been the result of excellent team work."
 
Despite the win, Coetzee was concerned about the yellow cards issued to Manuel Carizza and Kobus van Wyk.
 
"There is a tendency to be over anxious in defence because this team does not want to concede tries.
 
"At times our players were also guilty of over exuberance and that leads to penalties against us.
 
"Referees are not going to allow cynical things and our players will be hit hard financially when this happens.
 
"We have standards for the way we want to play and we frown on players being yellow-carded."
 
Coetzee said it was important for the team to build on Saturday's performance because of the challenges that lie ahead.
 
"We want to build on this performance because we are striving for consistency week in and week out. 
 
"We must cut out the soft moments in the game when allow opponents through for a try because we did not retain our shape as a team," he concluded.
 
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Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
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Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1