Fester, Gold dodge bullet

Kobus van der Merwe and Gary Gold will coach Western Province in the Currie Cup, but will almost certainly be axed at the end of the season if the team fails to fire.

This was confirmed by WP director of rugby Nick Mallett on Thursday.

“If there’s no performance in the Currie Cup, then we’ve got to look at the coaching,” Mallett told a gathering of suite holders at Newlands. “We are limited in coaching in South Africa … but few coaches want to coach here because of the political difficulties that come with the job.”

The meeting was called in the wake of “negative comments concerning Western Province rugby over the past few months,” said managing director Rob Wagner. “We feel that a year after Mallett’s appointment as director of rugby, it was timeous for Nick to inform our most important stakeholders on what has happened and how he sees WP Rugby in the future.”

Mallett admitted that there was a plenty of work to do in the weeks ahead.

“We made lots of mistakes [in the Super 14] – too many offsides and missed tackles for example. But we have good players in all positions. There’s just a problem with their youth and leadership.

“We’re perfectly aware that this team can play better and we have no problem with the players we have got. The team performed with heart, but not with enough skill. We didn’t play with intelligence.”