All or nothing for Province
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Western Province have no choice but to empty the tank when they host the Sharks at Cape Town on Saturday.
With the Sharks already securing their play-off spot, the pressure is on the WP to fight for a place in knock-out rounds.
Province along with Pumas, Bulls and Griquas are all fighting for the last two spots in the play-offs.
The Cape Town side needs to beat the Sharks to have any chance of reaching the semifinals. A bonus-point win will boost their chances, however, it will be a very difficult task, especially with the Sharks on a seven-game winning streak.
“As a union, we will constantly try to put our best foot forward and give our all,” WP forward Marcel Theunissen said when he preview the match against the Sharks.
“We are fortunate to have the best supporters, win or lose, as the Western Cape has always had our back.”
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Theunissen was one of a handful of United Rugby Championship regulars who played for WP against Griquas in Kimberley.
The loose forward made 20 appearances in all competitions for the Stormers and despite the disappointment that came with losing the URC final, he is eager to get involved in Currie Cup action.
“For me, losing the URC final was a difficult experience but it was a rewarding season. As a squad we were well prepared but it wasn’t our moment to carry the cup home,” said Theunissen.
“It wasn’t difficult to play for the Currie Cup following the URC since any opportunity to step onto the field is a privilege for me, and I am always eager for new challenges.”
For Theunissen, playing in the Currie Cup and wearing the blue-and-white hoops comes with a sense of pride, given the history associated with the jersey and the players who have come before him.
“The Currie Cup is one of the oldest rugby competitions, so I am always proud to take part,” he said.
“For me, the Currie Cup is a place where a rugby player can express themselves the most and learn new things. It’s also a place where you can compare yourself to other players your age and see where you stand in terms of talent.
“It’s inspiring to me because most international players currently coming from South Africa began by competing in the Currie Cup and working their way up to international contracts. It’s an honour to play for WP in the Currie Cup because they’ve always made history and won the cup a few times.”
Theunissen scored a first-half double on his return to WP to add to a tally of five tries for the Stormers this season.
He credits teammates for helping him find the tryline so often.
“With every game and every try that you score there is a lot more to it than what you see. For me, the trick is you must constantly work harder than your opponent,” he explained.
“I always attempt to position myself in the best place by trying to be the first person at the ball. I always first check in front of me if there is any space before I make any decisions.
“However, we must also keep in mind that any try scored is the result of a team effort rather than a one-man display.”