Prov­ince need that killer in­stinct

Cape Times - - SPORT - Wynona Louw

WEST­ERN Prov­ince coach John Dob­son says there is a “des­per­a­tion to cor­rect the wrongs of last week” against the Sharks in Dur­ban to­mor­row (kick-off 3 pm).

At El­lis Park last week, WP were in com­mand for most of the Cur­rie Cup match against the Golden Li­ons, but they lost con­trol of the con­test in the last quar­ter and lost yet an­other away match – with their only suc­cess­ful trip com­ing in Pre­to­ria against the Blue Bulls a few weeks ago.

And now, as they pre­pare to go all out to se­cure not only a win over the Sharks but a home semi-fi­nal as well, Dob­son hopes that his team man­age to pro­duce a sus­tained per­for­mance.

“Our away re­sults have been dread­ful, ex­cept for our first game against the Chee­tahs, every game that we’ve lost we had at least a 10-point lead in at some stage. It’s not our con­di­tion­ing. It seems that we lack the killer in­stinct to fin­ish.,” Dob­son said yes­ter­day.

“So there is a con­cern,if it has some­thing to do with al­ti­tude, this is the first away game at sea level, so we haven’t got that ex­cuse. There’s a des­per­a­tion to cor­rect the wrongs of last week”

Prov­ince have been boosted by the re­turn of Spring­boks Dil­lyn Leyds and Wilco Louw – who both fea­tured against the All Blacks at New­lands last week – and Dob­son said that Louw, a pow­er­ful scrum­mager, has a lot more “swag­ger” after get­ting a taste of in­ter­na­tional rugby.

“I’d be even more ner­vous if he (Louw) wasn’t around.

“I thought he was out­stand­ing for the Spring­boks last week. Him ver­sus Thomas du Toit is go­ing to be a great bat­tle. He de­scribed that as the best day of his life.”

And while Louw will bol­ster Prov­ince’s front row, Leyds will do the same for the al­ready-fine back­line.

Leyds will start on the wing in Dur­ban, while Damian Willemse oc­cu­pies the Bok’s reg­u­lar full­back spot.

In other changes to the back six, Sev­ens re­cruit Ruhan Nel will start at in­side cen­tre while Huw Jones shifts to No 13.

When asked about the se­lec­tion of his back­line, Dob­son said: “EW (Viljoen) has played every Su­per Rugby game and all the Cur­rie Cup games ex­cept for the first one. He’s got a cou­ple of nig­gles.

“Ruhan Nel played very well at 12 in the Su­perS­port (Rugby) Chal­lenge, and we also want to give Huw Jones more space to at­tack.

Dob­son also ex­plained that given the Sharks’ style of play and the un­favourable weather con­di­tions they are ex­pect­ing, hav­ing Robert du Preez at fly­half again and both Damian Willemse and Leyds out wide would be a plan to keep the Sharks’ kick­ing game in check.

“The Sharks are a very ter­ri­tory-based team, very good kick­ing game, and we felt that to have two full­backs at the back is a good thing.

“Dil­lyn can help a lot with the kick­ing game. He’s a ful­back and he must re­turn there, but for this game...the field is go­ing to be very heavy, so the more guys we have that are com­fort­able with a kick­ing game, the bet­ter.

“Ob­vi­ously Damian is the fu­ture, but we’ve got our­selves into a po­si­tion where we have to play match for match, horses for cour­ses. So that’s why we’ve gone with Rob.


POW­ER­HOUSE: Wilco Louw is back to bol­ster the West­ern Prov­ince front row.

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