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WP brace for set-piece battle

Mon, 09 Sep 2013 19:05
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We can’t afford to give away silly penalties
Quote-end

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee is preparing his charges for a fierce set-piece battle against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Coetzee highlighted the set pieces as the Pretoria side’s biggest strength and believes the hosts will have their tails up after their 26-10 victory over the Free State Cheetahs at the weekend.

“We’ll be up against a Bulls side who have built momentum after their win over the Cheetahs,” Coetzee said on Monday.  

“The Bulls are a fantastic set-piece team. They are one of the best scrummaging teams in the competition, so we’ll have our work cut out for us. We’ll have to be more accurate and it’ll be important for our pack to work together.”

Touching on the well documented physical nature of north/south derbies, Coetzee said: “I’m contemplating a five-two split [bench] to make sure we front up in the pack and have enough cover on the bench.”

Coetzee stressed the need for improved discipline from his side after they conceded “soft” penalties in the 25-19 win over the Sharks at Newlands at the weekend.

“Our penalty count has come down dramatically but I’m not happy with the soft penalties we’ve given away. We had about six silly penalties, so we have to get it right because we know we can’t afford to give away silly penalties against the Bulls.”

Coetzee said he’s pleased with his team’s unbeaten record and position at the top of the log at the half-way point of the season, but stressed that with just four points separating the top four, the defending champions can’t afford to rest on their laurels.

“We have a winning culture and I’m pleased with that. Whether we get the bonus point or not, there’s a belief to never give up and lose games,” he said.

“I’m pleased with where we are after the first round. We had two draws and three wins but this competition is far from over. It’s so close, so we have to make sure we put the foot on the accelerator in the second half [of the season].”

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