WP looking for killer instinct

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 15:47
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WP stand as the only unbeaten team in the Currie Cup, but their 25-19 victory over the Sharks was their biggest win of the season so far.

Western Province stand as the only unbeaten team in the Currie Cup, but their 25-19 victory over the Sharks was their biggest win of the season so far.

It was the first of the defending champion's victories this year to be by more than one point, and although it was a fairly comfortable win after a blistering first half, there was the feeling that a bonus point had gone begging.

Allister Coetzee's team cannot be faulted for consistency, but the one thing they did not manage to do was put a team to the sword with fast starts often fizzling out in the second half.

Coetzee made it clear that he was happy to keep winning, but admitted that his team's inability to land the killer blow is something that continues to frustrate them.

"Obviously there will be questions about the bonus point try. This competition is a dog fight, we are unbeaten and at the end of the day you have got to win your games, that is what matters.

"Being top of the log says nothing to me, it is pleasing that we finished the first round unbeaten and we have just got to keep on going.

"We showed great intent with ball in hand and asked a lot of questions, at times it also about the bounce of the ball and the pass sticking but there is intent so I have got to be patient, the players are frustrated about it but it is something we need to work on," he said.

Captain Deon Fourie agreed that his side can still learn to make their dominance count on the scoreboard.

"It has been frustrating, through Super Rugby as well, when we get in the 22 I don't know how but we can't seem to get that final pass or that last catch to score the try.

"That is the frustrating thing, especially if you know you are over them but you just need the try. So I was happy with the win but there are some things still to work on," he said.

Coetzee believes that his team have improved steadily throughout their campaign so far, and is hoping that they will start showing more composure in order to start putting sides away.

"I am not too worried about that, the more opportunities we create the more chance we will have to get that fourth try.

"It is soft moments in the game that bring them back when we are not accurate enough. I would like to see us in the crucial, critical moments in the game be more accurate.

"It is important to get bonus points, but it is more important to me in the context of this competition that we continue to tick more boxes each week.

The WP coach was encouraged by the performance of his pack in the set-pieces, and said that they will have to be even stronger in that area against the Bulls at Loftus Versveld next week.

"Our set-piece functioned well and on top of that I think we were really good at the breakdown too.

"So you don't guess and you know that you can go into the next match with confidence that our set-pieces are on the up and functioning well.

"The Bulls have a good scrum which is one of the best in the competition so I think we have to improve before we go to Loftus as well," he said.

Although his outside backs did produce some breathtaking moments, Coetzee did point out that a number of opportunities were also missed.

"Before you give them too much credit there were a few tries that went begging and they are the guys that we need to take those opportunities," he said.

Coetzee was happy with the contribution from the bench, although they did score less points than the Sharks in the second half.

"If you have quality players like Nic Groom then why do you put him on for the last five minutes?

"Certain players will make that impact in the second half and I am happy with Gary [Van Aswegen] and Nic [Groom] coming on," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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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
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Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
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Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
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