An angry and disappointed Western Province coach John Dobson was critical of his team’s attitude after they slumped to a 32-27 defeat against the Sharks in round two of the Currie Cup on Saturday.
The Sharks went into the match desperate to win after losing heavily to Griquas in round one. The home team responded positively but it was the kind of response Dobson had been preparing his team to expect and yet they were oddly passive throughout the match.
“I don’t know why we were so flat‚” a perplexed Dobson said. “Our body language from the start was not good and we were well beaten in the kicking game. Curwin Bosch and Rhyno Smith were exceptional in pinning us back. We missed a lot of touch kicks and our exit game was poor.
“There were some positives such as our set pieces and breakdown work‚ but as WP we pride ourselves on our passion of playing for the blue and white hoops‚ and today we didn’t have that.
“We knew the Sharks would bounce back after last week, they are too good not to. We knew we were in for a tough game. I didn’t expect us to roll over quite like that. Unions like ours want to host play-off games so we can’t afford another loss in this shorter campaign.”
The Sharks were always in control of the match and surged into a 25-10 lead early in the second half.
WP were forced to play catch-up‚ and despite scoring two second-half tries‚ they never looked like winning the match.
“With 10 minutes to go we were in the game on the scoreboard but it felt [on the field] like the belief wasn’t there‚” captain Chris van Zyl said. “Overall I was disappointed that we didn’t get more reward for a good scrum and line out performance. But they dominated us in the kicking game.”
Dobson indicated afterwards that Bok skipper Siya Kolisi might play for WP against the Lions this weekend as part of his return-to-play protocols after suffering a knee injury in the latter stages of Super Rugby.
Listen to the latest episode of the SportsLIVE PODCAST