Dob­son: Bloem test for WP

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW

WEST­ERN Prov­ince coach John Dob­son is hop­ing they can take the “win­ning mo­men­tum” of the Storm­ers and the Su­perS­port Rugby Chal­lenge teams into their Cur­rie Cup opener against the Free State Chee­tahs on Sun­day.

WP travel to Bloem­fontein on Fri­day to open their cam­paign af­ter they had a bye in the first round. And with the Storm­ers be­ing Su­per Rugby’s Africa 1 conference win­ners and the Su­perS­port Chal­lenge team hav­ing won the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter go­ing into the fi­nal un­beaten and mak­ing it 11 out of 11, Dob­son is bank­ing on play­ers from both squads to add their win­ning mix to the Cur­rie Cup.

“Hope­fully the win­ning mo­men­tum that has built up among the Storm­ers and the Su­perS­port team can help us a lit­tle bit in terms of our be­lief.”

At WP’s first Cur­rie Cup press conference of the sea­son at the team’s train­ing base in Bel­lville yes­ter­day, Dob­son said the team for Sun­day would prob­a­bly con­sist of Su­perS­port Chal­lenge play­ers and Storm­ers who didn’t get a lot of Su­per Rugby game time.

The for­mer Ikey Tigers coach also con­firmed that hooker Scarra Ntubeni, who missed the whole Su­per Rugby sea­son af­ter be­ing ruled out with an Achilles ten­don tear last sea­son, will def­i­nitely get some game time this week­end.

“It’s go­ing to be a very hard game for us. The Storm­ers went up there a few weeks ago and they had a tough one. So to go up there with largely a Su­perS­port team is go­ing to be tough,” Dob­son said.

“We planned around the Storm­ers be­ing in the semi­fi­nasl, so we’ll look at the guys who played a lot and had a lot of game time, so you can ex­pect more of the guys who didn’t get as much game time. So it will be sort of a hy­brid.”

Start­ing the sea­son with a bye can be in­ter­preted in a num­ber of ways, but for Dob­son it’s a pos­i­tive, as he be­lieves their bye “prob­a­bly avoided” them a loss.

Had they played last week, WP would have been with­out their Storm­ers, al­though not many of the reg­u­lar starters are ex­pected to fea­ture.

Asked what he ex­pected from the Chee­tahs, who lifted the Cur­rie Cup af­ter win­ning all their games last sea­son, Dob­son said he was ex­pect­ing the same kind of en­ergy from them they dis­played against the Storm­ers three weeks ago.

“I sus­pect that they’re prob­a­bly go­ing to try and get as much Cur­rie Cup points as they can be­fore they go into the Pro12, be­cause I think they had a great Cur­rie Cup suc­cess story last year.

“They are prob­a­bly tar­get­ing this game as a must-win. They es­sen­tially have a Su­per Rugby team, so we’re go­ing to have to try and do some­thing spe­cial. So we’re in for a tough af­ter­noon.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.