Last week the Western Province did something quite amazing. They travelled to Durban to face the Sharks knowing they had to win to stay in the Currie Cup. However, the way things unfolded in Kimberley earlier that day threw a spanner in the works.
The last thing Province needed was the Pumas and Griquas, who were in the respective 4th and 3rd place on the log, playing out to a draw. That was unfortunately exactly what happened. The 13-13 result giving both sides 2-log points, which helped give the Pumas a four-point lead over WP on the Points table.
The Mpumalanga outfit also enjoyed a better point’s difference. That meant that Province needed to score four tries and win for the full five-point haul.
Nobody gave them chance. The Bulls were probably getting their visitors’ locker room ready for the Pumas. But, WP proved all the doubters wrong. Not only scoring the four tries need, but adding a fifth for good fun. The soon to be Lions wing, Edwill van der Merwe running in an intercept try in the 84th minute to put a nice bow on proceedings at Kings Park.
Can WP do it again?
There was an expectation that Western Province coach, John Dobson will call on his big guns to face the mighty Bulls. However, Dobson opted not to mess with a winning formula and made just two changes to the team.
After an impressive showing coming off the bench against the Sharks, Sazi Sandi gets promoted to the starting lineup. That move sees Neethling Fouche shift to the bench. The other change sees Springbok hooker, Scarra Ntubeni returning to the front row of the WP pack.
Former WP captain, Corne Krige believes that John Dobson should’ve beefed up his pack a bit more.
“It going to be a slugfest up front”, said Krige
“Clearly a more running game suits WP better, unfortunately against the Bulls, it’s going to be a different ball game.”
It is knockout rugby from here on out, and Krige proclaimed that WP will have to be perfect in the line-outs and scrums.
“It starts in the front. You have to make sure your set-pieces are bulletproof, and obviously, your tactical kicking must be very good because you want to keep them in their half”, said the former Springbok
“You don’t want them to get 5m from your line, because they probably are going to score through their forwards, through their driving maul.”
Krige, who played in the blue and white hooped jersey between ’96 and ’02, shared his views on tonight’s semifinal on The Honest Truth last night.
Listen to Corné Krige tipping Evan Roos as a future Bok, here.