Province were 'overwhelmed' admits Dobson
REACTION: It was simply just too much to ask from the Western Province team.
Western Province’s Currie Cup campaign came to a halt as a result of a 31-48 defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
Province headed into the fixture as clear underdogs and was outplayed from the kick-off.
John Dobson’s troops struggled with the Bulls’ pack and made multiple costly individual errors.
They conceded two tries and found themselves 0-17 down after just 10 minutes.
It was a shocking sight from a team, who produced a hard-fought 35-24 bonus-point over the Sharks in Durban last weekend.
Speaking after the defeat, Province coach Dobson made no excuses for his team – stating his side were overwhelmed by a much better side.
“The damage was done in those first 10 minutes – 0-17 down. And I think that was the winning margin in the end,” Dobson said.
“The Bulls just physically overwhelmed us at the start of the game.
“We knew their runners off No.9 would be really big and mean, and they certainly played very well and took the game away from us, and we were in trouble for the rest of the game.
“Absolute credit to them – a really big, well-drilled, physical team. I thought we tried our best to paste over the cracks and showed a bit of character. I’m pleased for us for the way we showed character, and we were well-beaten.”
He added: “It would take exceptional performance to beat this Bulls team, they are really well-oiled and have depth.
“I think some other teams have come close previously but Loftus is definitely a fortress and it’s a tough place to play rugby,”
#ICYMI: The defending champion @BlueBullsRugby
qualified for the Final with a comfortable 49-31 win over @WP_RUGBY at #LoftusVersfeldStadium on #Friday #Rugby @TheCurrieCup
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) September 4, 2021
Province had a much better second-half. They played some enterprising rugby with wing Edwill van der Merwe showing his class and scoring three tries.
The wing thought he scored his third on the hour mark. However, the TMO determined he had no control over the ball and deemed it No Try.
The score could have narrowed the deficit to 24-41 with 20 minutes to play.
He eventually had his hat-trick a minute from full-time.
When asked about the referee call, Dobson admitted: “There were some frustrations.
“We really struggled with some interpretations at the breakdown.
“Even before the Van Der Merwe try [ruled out by the TMO] we had a really tough poaching call against us in the Bulls’ 22.
“Edwill’s call was also tough, we would’ve had something to play for, but I don’t think we would’ve caught the Bulls anyway.
“The damage was done early and the Bulls definitely had something left in the tank,”
Photo credit: @WPRugby