Dob­son wants WP to step things up

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW

WESTERN Prov­ince coach John Dob­son hopes that the per­son­nel changes to the team that will face the Blue Bulls at New­lands to­mor­row isn’t the only as­pect of his team that will be dif­fer­ent.

On Wed­nes­day, Prov­ince suf­fered a 44-34 loss at Gri­quas in Kim­ber­ley af­ter the hosts out­played them with a top dis­play of run­ning rugby.

But WP were also their own worst en­e­mies at times, and their short­com­ings on de­fence, dis­ci­pline and a num­ber of un­forced er­rors are some of the ar­eas the Prov­ince coach wants to see vast im­prove­ment in.

“We lacked phys­i­cal com­mit­ment. I don’t know if it was due to the en­vi­ron­ment, the work­load or Gri­quas’ good play, but there was just some­thing lack­ing in our de­fence,” Dob­son said.

“We’ve also made some poor kick­ing de­ci­sions over the past few weeks, our phys­i­cal­ity at the break­downs and in the car­ries and in our de­fence (need im­prov­ing). It’s that el­e­ment of con­sis­tent in­ten­sity in con­tact which is the big­gest con­cern for us.

“Also our de­fen­sive break­down de­ci­sion-mak­ing – I think we’re putting our heads in, but we’re not re­ally slow­ing down ball.”

Prov­ince slipped a num­ber of one-on-one tack­les against Gri­quas, and Dob­son pointed out that he didn’t think the union’s de­fen­sive sys­tem or tech­niques are to blame, but rather the fact that the play­ers just aren’t per­form­ing well de­fen­sively on a con­sis­tent ba­sis.

Scarra Ntubeni, who would have earned his 50th WP cap if he had not been with­drawn due to feel­ing “a bit sick”, will start at hooker in the North-South derby in a team that fea­tures five changes.

Scrumhalf Jano Ver­maak, fly­half Damian Willemse, centre Huw Jones, flank Jaco Coet­zee and hooker Ntubeni all come into WP’s run-on side for the home clash.

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