WP buoyant despite scrappy loss

After losing at the Shark Tank on Friday night, Luke Watson admitted that there is little else his side could have done in the abysmal conditions.

The Sharks scored the only try of the match through scrumhalf Scott Mathie, who dived over with only seven minutes remaining in the game. The Sharks’ 16-6 victory sees the Vodacom Cheetahs, who beat the Valke by a convincing 78-8 in Bloemfontein on Saturday, move to the top of the Absa Currie Cup log.

“It wasn’t much of a contest on Friday night,” Watson told keo.co.za. “The weather played it’s part in ruining what was supposed to be a great game of running rugby.

“Having said that, we have to give the Sharks credit; we’re not making excuses for losing. They played a better tactical game, and were effective in kicking the ball into our half of the field.”

Both sides struggled to string together more than a few phases at a time due to a very slippery ball. Despite the home team excelling in the set-pieces, Watson believes that there wasn’t much that separated the two teams in this department.

“Apart from that one scrum of ours that got wheeled, I think the guys stood up very well in both the scrums and the lineouts. I don’t feel that they dominated us.”

Vodacom Western Province will have to be at their best in both of these areas when they host the men from Pretoria at Newlands this Friday. Watson confirmed that although it will be tough, there is no extra pressure on WP to win.

“The Bulls rely a lot on their scrums and it will be a good challenge for our boys,” he said. “We really need to win this match, but that is our attitude towards every game. The Cheetahs may now top the log and we may have lost one match, but it would be ridiculous to let that effect our game.

“I don’t think that much will change for the Bulls game. If we panicked after one loss, then I suppose that would say a lot about us as a team.”

by Jon Cardinelli