WP need to show some steel

Wed, 15 Aug 2012 08:19
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Western Province coach Allister Coetzee knows his team will have to show plenty of character when they face Griquas in Kimberly on Saturday.

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee knows his team will have to show plenty of character when they face Griquas in Kimberly on Saturday.

Following their demoralising opening loss at home to the Sharks last week Coetzee's charges will have to pull themselves together quickly to deal with a solid Griquas outfit who will be eager to claim the scalp of a 'big' union in their first home game of the season.

Both Coetzee and Western Province captain Deon Fourie expressed their respect for a Griquas side that has some impressive depth this year and showed some promising signs against the Blue Bulls at Loftus last week.

"This is a proper side, if you look at their player pool they have got enough depth in every position. It is proper Currie Cup and Super 15 players that we are playing," said Coetzee.

"They are renowned for Bulls-type rugby and they showed it on Friday night again, they mauled the Bulls and they played with their forwards. That is their biggest strong point at the moment and lucky for them wings like Rocco Jansen are finishing which gives them a bit more flair," observed Fourie who continues at flank this weekend.

Coetzee has some experience in the form of Gio Aplon and Duane Vermeulen, who is expected to come off before half-time in his first game in four months, but the rest of his side are relatively inexperienced when compared with their counterparts in the Griquas side.

An example of how the depth at Western Province is being tested is the selection on the wing of Ederies Arendse who worked his way up from club rugby.

Coetzee commented: "I am very happy with the way he has slotted in, I think he played very well in the Vodacom Cup Final there [Kimberly]. He is quite good at finishing and hopefully there will be enough opportunities for Ederies to really finish this weekend.

"He is a willing player who has really progressed well and this is a great opportunity for him to show other club players out there that if you work hard, get into the set-up and do your job on the field you can play for Western Province."

Coetzee said that after the disappointment of last weekend he was forced to do some soul-searching and explained that the team are eager to show what they are capable of in what will be a pressurised atmosphere.

"We had to a hard look at ourselves and we have done the fundamentals and looked at the basics of the game to make sure we get it right.

"The thing about this game is there is an opportunity now to show that we have worked during this week.

"We have looked at the forecast for Saturday and it is a dry pitch, I don't think that there is rain expected in Kimberly so it will be a nice fast, hard pitch and we have played well there in the past.

"It is not going to be easy it is going to be a tough game but the players have put the work in," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
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