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Province want to 'keep it tidy'

Wed, 02 Oct 2013 13:57
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We owe it to ourselves and our fans here to put two halves together
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Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has stressed the need for his team to keep their game structured and accurate against the free-running Golden Lions at Newlands.

The Currie Cup champions have not lost a game yet this season, but have not always had things their own way with two draws from their eight matches thus far.

One of those draws came at Ellis Park where the Lions fought back from a 25-10 half-time deficit to earn a 31-31 draw, and Coetzee says that his team learned some valuable lessons that day about just how dangerous the Lions can be when given a sniff.

"We have spoken about the Lions' attacking mindset, so you have got to keep it structured and tidy, therefore the accuracy is important. When you give them the ball on a platter from unstructured play they will hurt any team.

"When you become sloppy and give turnover balls to them with their attacking mindset that is what gives them that little kick. So it is really important that we look after and respect the ball this weekend," he said.

Province have established something of a pattern of building up a lead and then trying to stave off a fight back from the opposition this season, and Coetzee is keen to put that trend behind them with an 80-minute performance on Saturday.

"We owe it to ourselves and our fans here to put two halves together and play for 80 minutes. If you look at the way we have come through in this Currie Cup we have shown signs that we can be accurate for longer and that is what I am hoping to see this weekend.

"It is going to be a tough match but from now going into the rest of the competition it is about having a Test match attitude. The intensity should be right up there, the accuracy should be right up there," he said.

In order to achieve that Province will need their replacements to make an impact in the second half, and with the likes of Schalk Burger and a fit-again Frans Malherbe to call on Coetzee is hopeful that they can up the tempo in the final stages.

"You have got to have a bench that you will use and not just have as a safety and not to just wait until a player gets injured but make an impact by bringing the right players off the bench," he said.

Another player who could play a decisive role is flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis whose steady boot and calm temperamant was decisive as he came off the bench and kicked the winning drop-goal in the win over the Cheetahs last week.

Coetzee said that although Kurt Coleman has done little wrong this season, he is looking forward to a big contribution from Catrakilis who starred in his team's Currie Cup victory last year.

"We all know his capabilities and that is what we are looking for - him to take control, give direction and knock the penalties over.

"Kurt has been outstanding and I think he has surprised a lot of people that thought he won't make it and his goal-kicking was suspect. We all know that Demetri is a very rounded off 10, he has got a great boot on him, especially kicking without a system he can get you out of trouble.

"I think Kurt was also good under pressure this year, but Demetri showed in the last ten minutes of the game against the Cheetahs that he is really an established and accomplished ten under pressure so that is a reason that you have to start him and give him an opportunity and see how it goes," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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