Room for improvement
10 Jul 2006
Vodacom Western Province coach Kobus van der Merwe realises much more is needed if his team is to win the Absa Currie Cup.
After watching his team secure a rare win over the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, van der Merwe refused to get too excited. Far greater obstacles lie ahead, starting with this weekendâ€™s match in Cape Town against Rassie Erasmusâ€™s Cheetahs.
â€œIâ€™m just happy we pulled it off against the Bulls after last weekâ€™s defeat,â€ van der Merwe said. â€œWe knew it was going to be tough up at Loftus, but I think the guys were able to take a lot of confidence from the Sharks game.â€
Van der Merwe said his team were extra motivated after being written off in the media. â€œI think at times we played some really good rugby and there was a good energy to the game.â€
The fact that Province last won at Loftus back in 2001 meant the win on the weekend was extra special, said van der Merwe.
â€œWe outplayed the Bulls in several departments, especially in the first half. The second half didnâ€™t go on well, but the fact we held on for the win is great for us.
â€œThat said there is definitely room for improvement and one aspect we need to work on is that we didnâ€™t capitalise when they were down to 13 men. We used too many chips and grubbers and kicked the ball away when we should have held onto it.â€
Province face the undefeated defending champions at Newlands next weekend. â€œThe Cheetahs are definitely the in-form team at the moment so that will not be easy.â€ After three rounds, the Cheetahs top the log with 15 points, followed by the Sharks on 14 â€“ both teams have won all their matches.
The Bulls and WP complete the top four, equal on 10 points.
By Andrew Hollely