Paranoid Province fear inside man

Paranoid WP coaching staff locked out any potential preying opposition eyes as they prepared for Saturday’s ABSA Currie Cup clash with the Cheetahs.

Vodacom Western Province coach Kobus van der Merwe suspected that his team was filmed ahead of the semi-final clash last year, and so instructed the ground staff at Bellville to keep the gates shut for the team practice held on Tuesday.

“I am not paranoid, but I want to make sure someone is not spying on us,” Van Der Merwe told Die Burger’s Herbert Pretorius.

Despite not being paranoid, the WP coach insists that he is uncertain whether Vodacom Cheetahs Rassie Erasmus spied on his team before last year’s semi-final.

“It’s all rumours,” he said of Erasmus, who had dominated Van der Merwe in coaching showdowns over the last two years.

Province lost both matches to the Cheetahs last year, including the ABSA Currie Cup semi-final and the Cheetahs whipped the Stormers in Cape Town during the Super 14.

The Cheetahs have also been the form team in the domestic competition and Saturday will be a barometer of the championship credentials of WP.

Van Der Merwe’s side are also waiting for a fitness report on inside centre Peter Grant, who is plagued by a shoulder injury. Grant, having played flyhalf in the Super 14, has given the Province midfield variation since being switched and if he is ruled out the attack will lose a dimension.

“It’s a nerve irritation that especially troubles him when he makes small movements, such as brushing his teeth. We are sending him to a specialist for a scan,” explained Van Der Merwe.

Grant’s fitness will be determined on Wednesday and he is unavailable, one of De Wet Barry or Sarel Potgieter will play at No.12.