Province out to exploit Loftus space
REACTION: Western Province booked a home semifinal in fine style with a remarkable 50-28 win over the Sharks and are eager to emulate the result against Blue Bulls at Loftus.
Province showed why they are outright favourites to retain the title as they outscored the Sharks seven tries to four at Newlands.
The result ended the Sharks’ unbeaten run, leaving Province entrenched at the top of the standings – and guaranteed a home semifinal.
WP started the match on a spectacular note, scoring four converted tries for a 31-7 lead after just 26 minutes of play. However, with 20 minutes left of the clock, the hosts were forced to readjust their focus as the Sharks cut down the lead to just three points.
” It was the first time we have been really tested this season” coach John Dobson told reporters at Newlands.
“They [Shark] had momentum and we were under pressure especially when the score was 31-28 [after 60 minutes of play].
“I’ve seen countless teams give up in that situation‚ but the way we clawed our way back into the game to score three tries‚ speaks volumes about our character,”
“This is a very good Sharks side with lots of Test experience and to score 50 points against them was special,”
“There are a few things that we can obviously fix which gives me excitement. I mean we’re coming off 50-points wins every week and we know there are a few technical issues that need work,”
WP travel to Loftus Versfeld for their final round-robin match against the Blue Bulls on October 13.
The defending champions need just two more log points from their final match to secure top spot and home advantage in the knock-out phase. While one log point could also be enough to finish top courtesy of their points difference.
“We’re looking forward to Loftus Versfeld. Think there are loads of space to score tries and this season we have certainly scored great tries.
“Think it would certainly be a concern if we don’t score at least four tries at Loftus and hopefully we get a few Springboks back,” Dobson added.