WP tick right boxes against under-strength Cheetahs

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 10:38
Large john dobson v free state cheetahs 2017 800

REACTION: Western Province head coach John Dobson believes his side ticked the right boxes in their 57-14 win over an under-strength Free State Cheetahs team at Newlands on Saturday.

With their first-choice players in Europe competing in the Pro14, the young Cheetahs side were never really going to trouble Province in Cape Town.

However, it did allow Dobson's side to work on specific areas where they fell short in their 20-21 loss to the Sharks two weeks ago.

"We saw a bit more intensity in contact and getting through more phases, so it is the stuff we wanted," Dobson told reporters after the match.

"I thought our game management was much better - in the last five minutes we could have got really loose. I am disappointed with the two tries [from the Cheetahs] but the fact that we kept it to naught deep into the seventies was good for me."

Dobson added: "I thought contact wise we pushed them back in defence. The contact was very important for us and the game management was very important because those were probably the two areas we let ourselves down against the Sharks and also not to make 280 tackles like we do every week."

Province captain Chris van Zyl said his side's defence has played a key role in their successes this year.

"One thing that I have seen with this team, I think we get a lot of confidence from our defence," said Van Zyl.

"When we really defend well it seems we get a lot of rhythm and confidence from that and that is exactly what happened on a number of occasions. We would come up nicely and make good positive hits and from that, it would become turnovers and from that you got the advantage. 

"So, things can happen and change quickly. I think in general the guys are running good lines, good support lines. I think we have been doing it the whole year, so it is just nice that we were able to build on a lot of stuff."

@rugby365com

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Fri, 22 September 2017
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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 9 8 0 1 39
Free State Cheetahs 8 5 0 3 25
Golden Lions 9 4 0 5 25
Western Province 8 4 0 4 22
Pumas 9 4 0 5 22
Blue Bulls 8 3 0 5 20
Griquas 9 2 0 7 16