'It's like trench warfare'
CURRIE CUP REACTION: Western Province head coach John Dobson believes the game of rugby has become more like “trench warfare”, and he used his team’s match against the Cheetahs as an example.
WP dramatically edged the Cheetahs in their Currie Cup Round Six encounter in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Flyhalf Tim Swiel slotted his final and seventh penalty goal on the stroke of full-time to steer Western Province to a 31-29 win over the Cheetahs, moments after the home team launched a stunning comeback.
For large periods of the game, it was a battle of the boot between Frans Steyn and Swiel who were both successful with seven kicks to poles during the game.
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“At the start of the season we identified this as probably our hardest game because the Cheetahs are playing for so much more,” said Dobson.
“They are playing for their futures and their pride, so we knew playing up here on January 2 was going to be a really tough game.
“The Bulls have lost here already, so it was a really tactical game and a real South African derby.
“That was a real Test match in terms of the Currie Cup. It was a really tough game of rugby. To emerge with the win was fantastic for us.”
Dobson said the match was another example of how penalties are dictating most rugby matches.
“It was a strange game like that. For us, it felt like a Test match and the way rugby is now between those two No.10s there is a terrible war of attrition.
“It’s like trench warfare and the penalties are so expensive. If you concede a penalty to guys like Frans Steyn or Tiaan Swanepoel it’s three points or they are going to kick in the 22 as has happened today [Saturday] and they are going to score a maul try.
“Teams are not playing rugby in that area, which is not a great product in that respect,” Dobson added.
Western Province will face the Sharks in Cape Town in the final round with a home semifinal on the line.