Province wary of abrasive Bulldogs
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.