AUDIO: 'Poor' Province find positives after Sharks defeat
REACTION: Poor body language and a horrendous kicking game are the causes for Western Province’s defeat to the Sharks says head coach John Dobson.
Western Province suffered a 27-34 defeat to the Sharks, who themselves were desperate for a win after their heavy defeat to Griquas in Round One. The defending champions bounced back in style as they outscored WP four tries to three at Kings Park.
The encounter was a replay of last year’s Final, thus Dobson’s side should have known what to expect. However, instead of coming out will full intent and purpose, WP found themselves lacking intensity and potency during the 80 minutes.
Both teams certainly had they fair share of troubled areas, however, in the end, it was WP’s kicking game which ultimately left a dissatisfactory taste for the mentor.
“Very disappointing result for us. We didn’t deserve to win it,” Dobson told reporters after the match.
“I don’t know why we were so flat. Our body language from the start was poor and we were very well beaten in the kicking game.
“We missed a lot of touches. I thought Curwin [Bosch] and Rhyno [Smith] were exceptional with their kicking game,” I suppose it’s quite good the way we came back in those last minutes, but for us, it was a very, very disappointing performance.”
Even with 63 percent possession, WP never looked like winning and found themselves trailing 10-25 before a converted try by Ruhan Nel chipped at the Sharks’ lead on the hour mark. They went into the last 10 minutes having to chase down just five points (20-25) thanks to a penalty by SP Marais
However, Sharks scored another seven-pointer thanks to a counterattack, just before Province scored their third try.
Despite Dobson’s disappointment, he found positives and assured WP fans there will be no repeats of this type of display ahead of the Golden Lions clash.
“I suppose it’s quite good the way we came back in those last minutes, but for us, it was a very, very disappointing performance.
“Having said that, our set-piece was good, our mauling was good, I think our breakdown was superb, but we normally pride ourselves in playing in the blue and white and we looked really, really flat.
“We knew we were in for a game, the Sharks are a much better team than last week’s score implied. So we knew we were in for a game, I just didn’t expect us to roll over quite like that.
“I expect a lot more energy and passion than what we showed today. Like the Sharks did this week, we’ll bounce back next week.
“It wasn’t our standard so it won’t happen again.”
Good news for WP is that SA Rugby’s Currie Cup player of the year 2018 Sergeal Petersen will return following his long-term injury lay-off.
While Siya Kolisi and Dillyn Leyds have been released from the Springboks Rugby Championship squad could be in action this weekend against the Golden Lions.
“We’ve got a couple of guys coming back from injury. I thought Sikhumbuzo Notshe – who hasn’t play for many months – was absolutely outstanding today after coming back a week earlier and coming off the bench in last week’s game.
“There are also a couple of other guys coming back into selection. Whether Siya is coming or not I’m not sure. Sergeal Petersen is also coming back.”
By Leezil Hendricks