The situation called for extra hard work
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has cracked the whip to ensure his team does not drop out of the Currie Cup play-off race.
Following their disappointing 9-22 loss to the Golden Lions at the weekend, which saw them drop to third on the standings less just a fortnight after they held a share of the lead on the standings, WP head to Pretoria to face a desperate Blue Bulls outfit in a decisive encounter on Friday.
Coetzee on Monday prolonged the Province training session by an hour in an effort to work on shortcomings, which made for a poor performance against the Lions at Newlands last Saturday.
The WP mentor said the extra time was warranted in the light of the team's disappointing performance.
"The situation called for extra hard work after the team's unacceptable performance," said Coetzee on Monday.
"Normally the players get over the disappointment of a weekend defeat, but this time the players are still perplexed by their performance. They just don't know why things went so horribly wrong for them."
Coetzee said WP could not play the same way again as they did against the reigning Currie Cup champions.
"We cannot play the we did at this level, and its hard to accept that we conceded so many turnovers when we dominated territorially and had so much possession."
Consistency at home was also important considering Province's recent performances against both Griquas and the Blue Bulls, said Coetzee.
"Normally we can bank on our line-outs but we lost our way there too at times, although I must add that the Lions excelled with their competitiveness."
"The one thing that we managed to do well was to create scoring opportunities, but then we did not show enough respect for the ball," said Coetzee.
Centre Marcel Brache and scrumhalf Louis Schrueder were nursing injury niggles, but it appeared both would be fit for Friday's clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Loose forward-cum-lock lock Rynhardt Elstadt had overcome his rib injury and was in the running for a place in Friday's matchday squad.
"We've missed our senior players like Elstadt and it's good for the team to have him back," said Coetzee.
"We saw over the weekend how physical the Bulls were against the Sharks, and on reflection they had a great chance of winning instead of losing the match."
If Elstadt's condition continues to improve this week, Coetzee is likely to use him at No.8, so that he can retain the services of Deon Fourie at No.6.
Coetzee also prefers Tyrone Holmes at No.7.
"Tyrone is a natural opensider, but I want to keep Deon at No.6, and so I'm looking to use Elstadt at No.8."
Loose forward Nick Koster was back to full health after a lengthy lay-off, and depending on his fitness levels he will be considered for selection.
Fullback Gio Aplon would remain on the sidelines with a sprained ankle for another two weeks.
Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen (ankle) has undergone an operation and would only be ready for action again in five months' time.
Coetzee was under no illusions about the task awaiting his side at Loftus on Friday evening.
"The Bulls are a desperate side and they'll be giving their all to get off the bottom of the log," he said.