WP prepare for ‘massive challenge’
WP assistant coach Robbie Fleck admits they are already under pressure as they prepare to tackle the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.
Western Province assistant coach Robbie Fleck admits they are already under pressure as they prepare for a “massive challenge” against the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.
Fleck said the defending champions are on the back foot heading into the weekend’s clash after their 24-all draw with an inexperienced Blue Bulls side in their Currie Cup opener at home at the weekend.
“We only have ourselves to blame that we came away with a draw,” Fleck said on Monday.
“It’s obviously not the ideal start to our campaign because it’s important to win all your home games. We were very confident going into the game. We started really well but then we dropped off the pace and let the game slip.
“We were 21-9 up with 20 minutes to go, we should’ve put the killer blow in and gone for a couple of more tries but credit to the Bulls, they worked their way back into the game. It’s a massive wake-up call for us.”
Fleck felt the team lacked attitude, which allowed the Blue Bulls to grow in confidence.
“As defending champions we have a target on our back and it doesn’t matter who we play against, they are coming to beat us,” he said.
“The technical errors are fixable but you can never replace attitude. Attitude is a given when you pull on the Western Province jersey and the attitude wasn’t there in that second half.
“We had a good chat today and it’s massively important that we take the positives out of the game because there was plenty.”
Fleck said it’s vital that the team bounce back and said it would require an 80-minute effort for them to climb out of the hole they dug for themselves.
“By gaining two points and not five we’ve put the pressure on ourselves,” he admitted.
“We face a high-riding Cheetahs side that should’ve probably beaten the Brumbies in a Super Rugby play-off and they beat the Lions at Ellis Park [last weekend].
“They’re coming down here on a mission, so immediately that puts us under pressure, but this team operate under pressure.”
Fleck said the Cheetahs were full value for their 30-29 win over the Golden Lions and made the most of their continuity in team selection.
“They are executing their plan pretty well, playing in the right areas and possibly opening it up a little bit more at Currie Cup level than they were in Super Rugby.
“They have a good plan, good structures and effectively only missing four players from Super Rugby, so they’re bringing in a lot of continuity.
“They were ably to nullify the Lions at the breakdown and it was an impressive win for them, so for us it’s a massive challenge.”