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Province won't drop the baton

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 12:03
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We have done all the hard yards
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Western Province will not fall prey to the disease that tripped up the Sharks last year.

Province are firm favourites ahead of the Currie Cup Final against the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.

It is the exact opposite of last year's Final, when WP travelled to Durban as underdogs.

However, having upstaged the odds at Kings Park in 2012, WP are determined not to allow any complacency to slip into their ranks.

"That is a big thing that keeps us on our toes and grounded," coach Allister Coetzee said, when asked about his team's favourites tag and the way they overcame similar odds a year ago.

"We have come so far now, this is [like] the third change-over in a relay," the WP mentor said, adding: "You can lead by 10 metres, but if you drop the baton there you won't win it.

"For me that is a big thing - we have done all the hard yards, there is no change in focus, as we have achieved nothing yet.

"We won't underestimate anything about the Sharks coming down here [to Cape Town]."

Coetzee said in a sense it is easier to prepare, because you know you are there and there are no concerns and issues that can distract their focus.

"It was pressure to get through the semis [into the Final] and it is not just pressure from a performance point of view," the coach said.

"There are administrative pressure as well, the administrators are looking at the finances of the union - that is always at the back of your mind as well [ahead of a semifinal].

"This week we are going in clearly just focussed on getting our details sorted out. The players understand the plan and they are well prepared in terms of knowing the details, roles and responsibilities  - there is not a lot that can change.

"[A] Final [is] a great occasion and the players again must embrace this.

"It happened [the last WP home Final] happened 12 years ago.

"I am quite excited for them, to be part of this whole thing. We are looking forward to a great sporting event at Newlands this weekend."

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