Province's front row shuffle

Thu, 06 Sep 2012 08:25
Large kitshoff tired630

The only unforced change to the Western Province team to face the Cheetahs is at prop as Allister Coetzee manages his front row resources carefully.

The only unforced change to the Western Province team to face the Cheetahs is at prop as Allister Coetzee looks to manage his front row resources carefully.

The Western Province coach has been hit hard by injury in certain positions this season, but there is some pleasing depth up front which has given him the opportunity to rotate his players.

Coetzee has opted to go with the experienced duo of Brok Harris and Deon Carstens to partner young hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni up front in Bloemfontein this weekend, with young guns Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe set to provide an impact off the bench.

Carstens was impressive up against Blue Bulls tighthead Werner Kruger in the crushing victory at Newlands last week, and Coetzee explained that he was delighted with the competitive environment in the front row at the moment.

"Players understand when they need to work harder, we have got an experienced player in Deon Carstens, he does a good job for us there and he has been playing well.

"If you are off the pace a bit then obviously I have got to give an opportunity to a guy who is performing.

"Kitshoff has made a great impact when he has come on so I think they are dovetailing well in the loosehead department.

"We have given Frans [Malherbe] four starts and that is one area where we can use our rotation policy, whereby Brok [Harris] gets a start again," he said.

The Province mentor admitted that the experience factor will be crucial against the Cheetahs who will be tough customers on their home turf.

"It is never easy playing away and this is a fantastic Cheetahs side that always asks a lot of questions in the set-pieces, so hopefully with the experience we have in our front row we will settle easily at scrum-time.

"We have been scrumming well, it is getting there and this weekend is another challenge for us and hopefully the experience of Deon [Carstens] and Brok [Harris] will allow us to overcome that hurdle," he said.

It has been a big year for the young Kitshoff who came through the Super Rugby marathon and then won the IRB Junior World Championship with the Baby Boks, so his current role as an impact player might be ideal for his development.

Carstens' experience makes him a dependable option who can also mentor Kitshoff as Coetzee tries to manage the young prop's workload as carefully as possible.

Carstens commented: "I think my role is to help him [Kitshoff]. He has played a lot of rugby this year so I think it is important to keep young prospects like that fresh.

"It works well with the bit of rotation we have in the front row, you don't want to end up in the last three weeks of the Currie Cup and you sit with a guy that has played 20/30 games and you don't have any impact.

"I think it opens up the door for the coaches to make decisions for the big games, and as long as there is competition where we push each other harder then it brings the best out of the team," he added.

By Michael de Vries

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 19 February 2017
Sale Sharks v Wasps 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 15h00 Kingston Park
Mon, 20 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 14h45 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Durban
TUT v WSU 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Potchefstroom
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Stellenbosch
UWC v Rhodes 16h30 Cape Town
UJ v UP-Tuks 17h00 Johannesburg
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1
RELATED ARTICLES