Wed 20 Jan 2021 | 01:42

WP 'can handle pressure' of Newlands semifinal

WP 'can handle pressure' of Newlands semifinal
Wed 20 Jan 2021 | 01:42
WP 'can handle pressure' of Newlands semifinal
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Western Province assistant coach Dawie Snyman believes his team have what it takes to handle the high-pressure situation of the Currie Cup semi-final.

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The Western Province reached the semi-finals with a last-gasp 31-29 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

An 81st-minute penalty by Tim Swiel made sure the Capetonians set up the home semifinal clash against the Sharks.

The win in Bloemfontein was a stark contrast to Province’s previous matches where they thrown away leads against a 14-man Bulls side and against the Lions, respectively.

Aside from the already closely contested fixture against the Sharks, Province have the additional pressure of knowing this could be their last match at Newlands stadium.

However, WP’s backline coach Dawie Snyman is confident the win against Cheetahs was proved that the team can make the right decisions in the closing stages and have learned from their previous mishaps ahead of the semi-final clash.

“If you look at the Bulls game, we had an opportunity to close that game out but we missed that opportunity,” Snyman told reporters during a virtual press conference.

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“Against the Lions at Ellis Park, we were in a good position, but they won with that kick at the end. Against the Cheetahs, we showed we had learned from those previous two games and used our opportunities.

“Going into this weekend, it’s going to come down to the last five or 10 minutes and the decisions we make in those moments. That’s where we have made mistakes previously, the wrong calls at the wrong time in those scenarios.

“We know what works for us and how to handle those pressure situations,”

Province were due to play the Sharks on January 9, however, the final round-robin clash was cancelled due to a number of positive COVID-19 tests in the Sharks’ squad.

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Subsequently, the play-offs were postponed by a week – giving Province three weeks to prepare for the fixture.

“We’ve prepared for the Sharks for two games that didn’t happen,” Snyman said

“It almost feels like a month that we’ve been preparing for them now. We prepared for them in three sessions previously and now of course the sessions this week.

“The plans will stay the same, so that’s actually nice, so we don’t have to change too much. We’re looking forward to playing against them,”

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WP 'can handle pressure' of Newlands semifinal | Rugby365