Dob­son opts for horses for cour­ses

The Mercury - - SPORT - Wynona Louw

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

At El­lis Park last week, Prov­ince, who were in com­mand for most of the Cur­rie Cup match against the Golden Li­ons, lost con­trol of the con­test in the last quar­ter and lost yet an­other away match.

Their only suc­cess­ful trip came against the Blue Bulls a few weeks ago.

As they pre­pare to go all out to se­cure not only a win but a home semi-fi­nal, too, this week­end, Dob­son hoped that his team can pro­duce a sus­tained per­for­mance to bag a win at sea level.

“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. Last week we led un­til the 73rd minute,” Dob­son said yes­ter­day.

“There is a con­cern re­gard­ing away games, and 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, and hope­fully it will see us through.”

Prov­ince have been boosted by the re­turn of Spring­boks Dil­lyn Leyds and Wilco Louw and Dob­son said that Louw, a pow­er­ful scrum­mager, has a lot more “swag­ger” since his taste of in­ter­na­tional rugby.

“Wilco ver­sus Thomas du Toit is go­ing to be a great bat­tle. He de­scribed that (New­lands Test) as the best day of his life. And you can just feel there’s a lot more con­fi­dence and swag­ger about him now. I’m ex­cited to see that.”

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

Leyds will start on the wing in Dur­ban, while Damian Willemse oc­cu­pies the Bok’s reg­u­lar full­back spot. Sev­ens re­cruit Ruhan Nel will start at in­side cen­tre while Huw Jones shifts to No 13.

Dob­son also ex­plained that given the Sharks’ style of play and the un­favourable weather con­di­tions ex­pected in Dur­ban, Robert du Preez at fly­half and both Damian Willemse and Leyds out wide would be a good way 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 there is a good thing. Also, we felt that Rob did well with the ter­ri­tory last week, and for a Damian or Rob to miss out wouldn’t have been the right thing at this stage.

“The field is go­ing to be very heavy, maybe we have a bit of rain and a howl­ing wind. The more guys we have who are com­fort­able with a kick­ing game, the bet­ter.

“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. It might not be the same next week.”

With Du Preez set to join his fa­ther and broth­ers Jean-Luc and Dan at the Sharks, Dob­son said that the move might gal­vanise Du Preez to per­form even bet­ter.

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