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Scarra Ntubeni, who would have earned his 50th WP cap if he had not been withdrawn due to feeling “a bit sick”, will start at hooker in the North-South derby in a team that features five changes.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