Prov­ince wary of abra­sive Bull­dogs

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE DE BRUYN

COACH John Dob­son sees to­mor­row’s Su­per­Sport Chal­lenge in Mdantsane with hosts the Bor­der Bull­dogs as a test­ing one for his un­beaten Western Prov­ince team.

Prov­ince will be chas­ing a sixth­straight bonus-point win while Bor­der, who are sec­ond to the Cape side on the five-team Pool C stand­ings, are aim­ing for a fourth win from six out­ings.

The first meet­ing be­tween the two at City Park in Craw­ford ended with Prov­ince win­ning with change to spare, to make it a hat-trick of wins on home soil.

Bor­der, while go­ing down 50-34, showed great courage un­der fire and were able to se­cure a bonus point for scor­ing four tries in a high-scor­ing en­counter.

Now the men from the Eastern Cape have home-ground ad­van­tage and a big crowd is ex­pected to sup­port their boys.

“Sun­day rugby has taken off and we are look­ing for­ward to strut­ting our stuff in front of a packed Sisa Dukashe Sta­dium,” said Dob­son.

“It’s go­ing to be a tough con­test against a ri­val on the up in terms of over­all per­for­mance.

“Whether their fit­ness lev­els are up to scratch will be put un­der scru­tiny.

“Our aim is to open up the game and ev­ery pos­si­ble op­por­tu­nity and then see what kind of re­sponse is of­fered.

“But I must say Bor­der are an ex­cit­ing, abra­sive unit and in full cry are a dan­ger­ous lot.

“They have plenty of skil­ful play­ers, es­pe­cially in their back seven.

“Fly­half Oliver Zondo and his half­back part­ner Bangihlombe Kobese cashed in with 29 points in our pre­vi­ous meet­ing. They are quick to counter off your mis­takes, so we’ll be watch­ing the pair closely.”

Prov­ince take to the field with a new fly­half in the form of Kurt Cole­man who has re­cov­ered from an an­kle in­jury. With 42 caps for the Storm­ers and 308 points for Prov­ince, Cole­man is sure to make a telling con­tri­bu­tion.

Reg­u­lar pivot Bran­don Thomson moves to in­side cen­tre, while Grant Her­manus, who op­er­ates at full­back, is warm­ing the bench.

Up front, cap­tain Ei­tal Bre­denkamp is rated highly by Dob­son. “Ei­tal is the clas­sic open­side flanker and an ex­cel­lent leader. I see him play­ing a higher level in the near fu­ture,” said Dob­son.

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