Province pumped for Bulls

Luke Watson believes his side has the character to come back from their narrow defeat against the Sharks.

“We need to eliminate any negativity that may have arisen after last week’s game,” Vodacom WP captain Watson told keo.co.za. “We lost in the last 20 seconds. It’s hard to lose like that, but we need to get past it.”

The side will be buoyed by the fact that they played some attractive rugby against a Sharks side that was tipped by some to put as many as 50 points on the Newlands scoreboard.

“Before kickoff, I don’t think anybody in the country gave us much of a chance. We’ve now proven all those doubters wrong and shown what we’re capable of,” said Watson.

“The Sharks played some great rugby, but we produced our best display in over two seasons.”

The Sharks boasted an experienced backline, but the homeside’s gamble of a twin flyhalf strategy in the midfield continues to pay off.

“It was a bit of a gamble when Naas (Olivier) and Peter (Grant) were paired in the midfield, and admittedly it was initially done to give us more kicking options. But as you can see, they’ve brought a lot more than that to our game.”

WP will have to be as good, if not better, to beat the Bulls in Pretoria in an ABSA Currie Cup showdown that could determine the course of their campaign.

Watson has no doubt Province can win.

“We will be doing a bit more kicking, but we won’t be afraid to run the ball. Our team is starting to gel nicely.”

The Vodacom Blue Bulls will be the favourites in the scrum, and with the WP’s loss of yet another tighthead in Attie Winter to injury, the homeside should have an even greater advantage.

But Watson is optimistic about the situation. “I was pleasantly surprised with the way Brock Harris scrummed against the Sharks. We have had our injury problems, but it shouldn’t be a factor this week.

“The pack has come on in leaps and bounds in the first two games. Guys like Justin Melck and Robbie Diack have also been prominent in the back row, and we should provide a good challenge for Pedrie (Wanneburg) and the other Bulls loose-forwards.”

By Jon Cardinelli