The passion province must reproduce at Loftus
REACTION: It was a classic Dylan Thomas poem that fired up Western Province when they scored a 35-24 bonus-point win over the Sharks in Durban at the weekend.
The victory ensured they overtake the Pumas in the race for the final Currie Cup play-off spot.
Their award is a trip to Pretoria for a traditional north-south derby encounter with the table-topping Bulls.
WP coach John Dobson said he was proud of the team for the “passion and energy” they produced in Durban.
“I am cognoscent of the fact that the Sharks did not have as much on the line as we did,” Dobson said of the pre-match scenario that played out – with the Bulls already having secured top spot and the Sharks guaranteed second place.
“However, we played with real desperation and pride,” he said of his team’s deep desire to get a bonus-point win and overtake the Pumas to quality for the semifinals.
The Province coach revealed that he charged up his team with a classic Dylan Thomas poem before the match.
The celebrated poet’s most famous work is said to be the poem, ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night‘ published in 1952.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
“That is how we played,” he said, adding: “With real energy and commitment.”
While some of his players probably need a rest and a break, there is little time for that – as they start building up towards the trip to Pretoria and a semifinal showdown with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
“To go up there and face a Bulls team as strong as they are, it is going to be a very tough ask,” Dobson said.
“We have seen there is pride in this team and hopefully that passion will get us through next week.”
The Cape Town team has a couple of ‘minor’ injury niggles – with No.8 Hacjivah Dayimani taking a blow to the knee and flank Deon Fourie struggling with a ‘badly swollen’ thumb.
However, the coach was “hopeful” that both would be available for the trip to Loftus Versfeld.
* Picture credit: @WP_RUGBY