WP's defence was ‘inexplicable’

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:48
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: After their dreadful defeat to the Griquas, Western Province coach John Dobson said his side should be more physical in defence against the Blue Bulls.

The 34-44 defeat to Griquas is the Cape side's second defeat out of three matches.

Griquas and WP scored five tries a piece, however, Dobson admits that  WP’s feeble kicking and lack of defence proved to be the 10 point difference between the sides.

"Our performance [in Kimberley] was inexplicable," Dobson told reporters.

" [A few games ago we could have blame cohesiveness] but this time it was not an issue of gelling [or cohesiveness], I felt we just lack physical commitment. It could be the workload but there was just something terribly wrong.  

"Our kicking game was poor, and one thing that really stood out was our lack of physicality in defence -the way we tackled or didn’t tackle was the crucial difference between the sides," he said

"You can’t just blame the systems, it is a personal pride thing. Our challenges at the Union is not the defensive systems or technique, it’s about the consistency. For a few years now, our defence has not been consistent," Dobson explained.

WP’s discipline proved to be their worst enemy. The side received two yellow cards – the first one was given to scrumhalf Dewatl Duvenage for cynical after just three minutes of play while the second was handed to  Sarel Marais on the hour mark.
 
"Our discipline was not where it should have been. Marais' card was disappointing because it was a clear team warning at the line-out and within 30 seconds he got the card which was fair. While Duvenage’s card came so early in the game...I really felt for him,"

Captain Chris Van Zyl is confident his side can rectify their discipline and defensive display in the next two days.

"It is difficult not dwell on the loss but with a short turnaround we have to box it and learn from it,” Van Zyl said.  

"[After Yesterday’s game] I did feel a certain amount of responsibility. Nonetheless, I can’t force guys to make tackles. Like Dobbo [Dobson] said it is an individual pride thing.
 
"I have no doubt that we can rectify these defensive issues as quickly as possible,"

WP’s opposition the Blue Bulls will not be a walk in the park come Saturday.

The Pretoria side suffered a 20-28 defeat to Sharks on Wednesday, however, they have been in much better form. Dobson does admit that John Mitchell’s presence adds value to the team.  

"With John Mitchell’s arrival, there has been a big metamorphosis at the Blue Bulls.

"Compare to the Super Rugby team, they are very different - they general movement are much better, they tempo and breakdown work are better. It is very similar to what happened at the Golden Lions seven year ago.
 
"Now, the Blue Bulls force you to tackle more - a very different Blue Bulls way of play. They going pose a threat similar to the Golden Lions.

"Thus, going up against them [Blue Bulls] we should improve on our defence, physicality and general kicking game," he added.
 
Province currently occupy the sixth spot which includes one single win against the Pumas.

By Leezil Hendricks
@leezil07
@rugby365.com

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