The Western Province management have no intention of resting their Springboks as the Absa Currie Cup reaches the business end.
At the climax of the Boks’ Tri-Nations campaign, coach Peter de Villiers suggested the elite players would be managed by their provinces to avoid burnout ahead of the UK tour in November. But this loose ruling has been contradicted by teams like WP, who desperately need their Boks to make up lost ground.
WP require three bonus-point wins on the bounce to stand any chance of making the play-offs. Allister Coetzee told keo.co.za it is for this reason there will be few changes in the lead up to the knockouts.
“We’ve built some nice momentum over the past two weeks and the Boks have settled in nicely. But we have to get maximum points from our remaining games and we cannot take the opposition for granted,” said Coetzee.
“Nobody told us the Springboks shouldn’t be playing. We do appreciate that these players have to be managed, but we have taken that into account in the structuring of our training sessions. Some players will sit out certain practices – in that way they won’t be run into the ground.”
WP face Griquas at Newlands this Friday before travelling to Boland next weekend. The final fixture will be staged in Cape Town against the Lions, a game that could effectively be a play-off.
“Our focus is on Griquas. We can’t afford to get ahead of ourselves. We have to get the win and secure the bonus point this weekend,” said Coetzee.
“But at the same time, I’d be lying if I said we haven’t thought about the final game against the Lions. The game in Boland is not going to be easy either. We have to keep the momentum going.”
By Jon Cardinelli