Composure was key for WP

Sun, 15 Sep 2013 10:54
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WP coach Allister Coetzee praised his charges for keeping their composure to beat the Blue Bulls despite being a player down.

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee praised on his charges for keeping their composure to beat the Blue Bulls despite being a player down.

Match referee Marius Jonker showed Province flanker Michael Rhodes a red card after he stepped on Bulls captain Jono Ross' face in the 34th minute which left the visitors a player short for the rest of the game.

Province remained focused despite the debilitating blow and added a converted try to the score three minutes before the end of the half.

The victory meant the Capetonians stayed unbeaten in the competition after six rounds and cemented their place at the top of the log on 20 points.

A single point separates them from the second-placed Sharks, while the Cheetahs and Golden Lions were in third and fourth place on 16 and 15 points respectively.

The Blue Bulls are in fifth place with 10 log points with Griquas languishing at the bottom on nine.

Coetzee said that it was pleasing to see his side raise their game when they were under pressure.

“You come up to Loftus and you know it is not easy but to do it with 14 men is special and it's really been an outstanding performance by the players,” he said.

“Especially in the second half... to stay connected like that, knowing that they have to work extra hard, because you are one man short and to do it at altitude takes a lot out of a team.”

Coetzee said it was their best second-half performance this season as they got into the habit of taking the foot off the throttle in this period in their previous matches.

“Normally we would sort of let a lead slip but this time around ironically with 14 men we actually upped it,” he said.

“The composure that was there and just cutting out soft moments in the game by not conceding unnecessary penalties.”

Province's scrum was particularly influential in laying the foundation for their impressive victory over the Bulls.

“This was always going to be a set-piece display and to scrum the way we scrummed tonight with one forward short was very pleasing,” Coetzee said.

“We had a great scrumming performance since the Sharks game last weekend and we improved on that with seven forwards holding their own against a good Bulls scrum.”

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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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