At half-time in the change room the whole feeling was this is ours
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee believes his team’s unlikely Currie Cup triumph in Durban on Saturday was “written in the stars.”
After slipping into the Final thanks to a last-gasp try against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend, Western Province were largely written off against a Sharks side that had peaked at the perfect time and would enjoy home ground advantage in the decider.
However, Coetzee’s charges rallied back from a slow start and 12-3 deficit to stun the Sharks and finally rid themselves of the “chokers” tag that had dogged them for years.
“The commitment, brotherhood and trust came out strongly tonight,” an ecstatic Coetzee said following the 25-18 victory that he described as the culmination of two years of hard work.
“We've been playing well and doing all the right things for two years now.
“It was a matter of believing in the guy next to you, a matter of believing in the plan.
“The Sharks are a formidable side and we have a lot of respect for them in what they have been doing, but we knew our desire will be much more tonight.”
Coetzee said the team relished their underdog status and that it was the cohesive effort of the side rather than individual performances that saw them past the Sharks.
“I know a lot of guys wrote us off,” he said.
“I think we were the only bunch of players who believed we could win here today.
“We were in a very healthy position in that sense and I loved it so much that we would come here as underdogs and we knew all along that the character in this side is there.
"The plan is right. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing.”
Coetzee praised his players for staying composed after their slow start and not veering from their gameplan.
“We've been in that position before and the important thing was to back yourself and trust yourself,” he said.
“It was about not rushing or forcing things. Then late in the first half we put them under a bit of pressure with ball in hand.
“At half-time in the change room the whole feeling was this is ours.
"Go out and do the basics right. Put their set-piece under pressure and you saw what happened after that."
Coetzee is reportedly keen to retain the services of Kings-bound flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis - who scored 17 points including drop-goals off either foot - and wants to meet with the 23-year-old to discuss his future.