WP prepare to face a 'different beast'

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 11:39
Large allister coetzee gesture 63 Large deon fourie interview 630 Large western province training 6 Large deon fourie   allister coet Large allister coetzee interview

The Blue Bulls may be in the midst of one of their worst Currie Cup seasons in decades, but a trip to Loftus Versfeld remains a huge challenge.

The Blue Bulls may be in the midst of one of their worst Currie Cup seasons in decades, but a trip to Loftus Versfeld remains a huge challenge and one of the highlights of the season.

Western Province will not bank on a repeat of the 42-6 demolition they produced at Newlands just over a month ago when they face the bottom-of-the-table Bulls in Pretoria on Friday.

Despite having managed just three wins from eight starts and being faced with the prospect of a promotion-relegation match at the end of the season, Province are not ready to write off their arch rivals just yet.

WP Allister Coetzee said the strength-versus-strength format of the six-team competition - reduced from eight when minnows, the Pumas and Leopards, were axed - means there is now no longer any margin for error and less opportunity for recovery after a loss.

With just two round remaining the Bulls remain in the play-off race. However, the will require them to win their remaining games.

For the third-placed WP there is plenty to play for, but they are looking at the threat posed by the Bulls, rather than the bigger, play-off, picture.

"The next game is the Bulls, that is what we need to look at and focus on," Coetzee said, adding that his team needs to dramatically improve on last week's (9-22) loss to the Golden Lions.

"It was terrible," the Province mentor said, adding: "I don't think it is the pressure of the competition, it is more the pressure the players put on themselves to get things right. At times last week we were a bit over eager, or the pressure that we were put under we didn't respond too well to that.

"It [the pressure] will be more this weekend," he said, adding that they are expecting a very different team from the Bulls the demoralised Bulls outfit that left Newlands last month after a 36-point hiding.

"We did not play the perfect game, but close to where we want to be as a team - the intensity was fantastic, we were really accurate at Newlands.

"[However,] this is a different beast altogether ... this weekend.

"They have guys like Chiliboy [Ralepelle], Dean Greyling and Bjorn Basson back - they are all Springboks.

"For every player who want to make it in South African rugby, you have to pass the test at Loftus.

"It is going to be tough, but it is a challenge we are really looking forward to."

WP captain Deon Fourie also suggested the Bulls will be a far more formidable foe than the shambles that they encountered at Newlands.

"These north-south derbies are one of the highlights of the year ... especially at Loftus it is just that much more intense," Fourie said.

"Add to that the Bulls where they stand at the moment - they want to rectify their season and get back to their winning ways again."

Fourie added that WP need to become more consistent, having produced emphatic wins over teams like the Bulls and Griquas, but then produced a poor performance against the Golden Lions - which saw them fall behind the tournament leaders.

"That is the funny thing about rugby, one week you are on top of the world and the next week down in the dumps," Fourie said, adding: "That is important, to get consistency, especially in the last few weeks.

"It is important [for us] to now get back on track."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 25 September 2016
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1