Province poised for perfect season

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:20
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Western Province are looking to get through the Currie Cup unbeaten for the first time since 1936 when they host the final next week.

Western Province are looking to get through the Currie Cup unbeaten for the first time since 1936 when they host the final next week.

Although they have drawn two games the defending champions have not lost a single game, and their coach Allister Coetzee is aware of the historical significance of what is at stake against the Sharks at Newlands.

"We want to win the final, that is the ultimate and we haven't achieved that yet, we have put ourselves in a position where we could break a Western Province record that has been in place since 1936, going unbeaten in a Currie Cup and win it," he said.

The Province coach said that their semifinal against the Lions had been the perfect preparation as they were given a serious test in most departments.

"It must have been the game with the most ball in play the whole season so from that point of view it was a good challenge for us going into the final.

"If you play a Lions side you have got to be accurate, and at times we had to scramble in defence so it was quite a good challenge for us," he said.

Coetzee said that although the Lions had got the upper hand at scrum-time when CJ van der Linde was on the field, he was pleased with the way they bounced back.

"In the scrums we did get it right but it took two or three scrums. We were caught out. I just thought that they got the hit going and worked nicely through that so we were a bit unsettled there but fortunately we got it right again," he said.

The Province coach said that he does not think Siyabonga Ntubeni's tip tackle warrants any further punishment than the yellow card he was shown, and he is obviously hopeful of keeping the front row that got one over the Sharks last week.

"I have seen worse tip tackles and players got off, obviously I don't condone what has happened we have spoken about discipline and especially yellow cards, you cannot play with 14 men," he said.

Coetzee said that while he takes heart from what was a composed performance, his team are focused on backing that up and making it back to back titles.

"There is still a lot of work to be done, it is still a play-off game it is still a final. We have got to get it right in terms of accuracy and discipline," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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