Young WP backs a shining light

Tue, 13 Aug 2013 08:14
Large pat howard break.jpg630 Large pat howard wp

Western Province assistant coach Robbie Fleck feels the performance of their young backline was the most encouraging aspect of their game at the weekend.

Western Province assistant coach Robbie Fleck feels the performance of their young backline was the most encouraging aspect of their game at the weekend.

Fleck on Monday said the defending champions let themselves down in their 24-all home draw with arch-rivals the Blue Bulls on Saturday.

But looking at the positives, Fleck said the new-look backline showed plenty of promise.

"For a young backline I thought we played really well, it's just a pity we didn't get enough possession," he said.

"In the first 20 minutes we really had them at sixes and sevens, our general attack worked nicely and we were in good shape. We stretched the Bulls in that regard and the first try was probably the best we've scored in a long time."

Fleck said the halfback combination of Louis Schreuder and Gary van Aswegen controlled the game well for 60 minutes, before the latter made some uncharacteristic errors.

"Louis had a very good game. He took the leadership role well and executed his gameplan perfectly. Gary's general attack was good but he made four crucial errors in terms of his kicking game, but it's a nice combination."

The former Springbok centre was full of praise for the new midfield pairing of Damian de Allende and Pat Howard, saying, "I'm very happy with the first start between the two of them. Pat had a good debut. He scored a brilliant try and had one or two nice runs outside of that.

"Damian was a monster in midfield - he was phenomenal. This kid is just getting better and better every week. He's in a leadership role now and he's taken that to heart.   

"If Damian can keep performing the way he does, there'll be good opportunities for him in the future."

Fleck added that he was impressed with BlitzBok and Baby Bok speedster Cheslin Kolbe and believes it was the right decision to play the rookie on the wing and the experienced Gio Aplon at fullback.

"He's [Kolbe’s] our x-factor and he had a great debut for us. Every time he had possession he showed a bit of magic, it's just unfortunate he had to come off due to injury," said Fleck.

"Fullback is his [Aplon’s] preferred position and he had another good game. His workrate is phenomenal off the ball and he's creating opportunities. He's directing traffic at the back there.

"Cheslin is going to get his opportunity at 15 but right now Gio is the man in charge. We need a bit of seniority and leadership at the back and Cheslin is quite happy on the wing."

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Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 14h00 Paris
Fri, 28 April 2017
Ospreys v Ulster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 22h00 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Scarlets 22h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Dragons 22h00 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 RDS Arena
Treviso v Munster 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
Bulls v Jaguares 26 | 13
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1