Westville want to put their loss to Glenwood behind them by beating DHS on Saturday.
DHS made a slow start to the season, losing all three of their matches at the KES Easter Festival, but have recently drawn with Hilton (22-22) and beaten Michaelhouse (19-10). In contrast, Westville have been one of the form teams in the country throughout this year (they are currently 11th on the FNB schools rankings), but suffered a setback when they were beaten 9-6 by Glenwood last weekend.
However, Westville coach Mike Vowles believes they can get their season back on track when they host DHS.
‘It’s going to be a tough contest,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘We’re expected to bounce back and they’re building some momentum. They should throw the ball around and not be too hung up on structure, which makes them dangerous in terms of their unpredictability.’
One positive that Vowles took from the Glenwood defeat was his side’s defence.
‘They had the majority of the ball, but we still managed to restrict the game to the middle of the park,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘Defensively, the game was a great showcase for us.’
The numbers back up Vowles’ confidence – in their 12 games so far, Westville have scored 47 tries while conceding only five. What Westville need to rectify ahead of this weekend’s match is their finishing in pressure situations.
‘The result [against Glenwood] didn’t do justice to the attacking opportunities we created, it was just a case of that last phase going awry,’ said Vowles. ‘We repeatedly made the wrong choice, whether it was a kick instead of a pass or not passing at all, and let try scoring opportunities slip.’
Westville will be changing their mindset, and not the team, to achieve this.
‘We won’t do too much tweaking, it’s more a matter of holding our structure and maintaining composure,’ said Vowles. ‘We’ve proven we can finish beautifully [in their 52-9 and 41-9 defeats of George Campbell and Parktown respectively], it’s just a matter of getting used to the kind of pressure that Glenwood applied.’
By Rory Keohane