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
Sat, 21 April 2018
Crusaders v Sunwolves 07h35 Christchurch
Reds v Chiefs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Rebels 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Scarlets 14h30 Dublin
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Durban
Zebre v Ospreys 16h45 Parma
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26
RELATED ARTICLES