Back to drawing board for WP
REACTION: Western Province head coach John Dobson gave an honest assessment of his team's performance after their 26-45 defeat at the hands of the Blue Bulls in their Currie Cup Premier Division Round One clash at Loftus Versfeld.
Dobson said that his team were always playing catch-up rugby after conceding two early tries and they lost the battle for territorial advantage and were beaten at the breakdown and the kicking game.
Western Province were outscored by six tries to four en route to the defeat.
"We lost the aerial battle badly. We lost the distance battle and in the kicking game we were well beaten.
"I thought at our breakdown we weren't as effective as we should have been. Two of those tries in the first half were turnover tries and you 0-17 down at Loftus. It's a long way to come back from there," explained Dobson.
Trailing by 30 odd points and chasing the game in the second half, Western Province attempted to put together an attacking move and go through the phases, but some well organised defence from the Bulls along with an out-of-sorts Western Province attack saw flyhalf Brandon Thomson go for a drop goal which he sent wide of the uprights.
This passage of play summed up the game for Western Province as they ran out of ideas on how to breach the Bulls defence and they were not helped by their own defensive faults.
"Obviously we didn't enjoy the drop goal - that was poor - but he [Brandon Thomson] had nothing outside him and our attack just didn't have any width. I think that the Bulls defence today was absolutely superb.
"They held us up in the air, slowed our ball down when we got onto the ground and they got some good line speed. To be fair to Brandon he had no options but of course a drop goal should never have taken place. It wasn't his fault it was a product of our attack and some excellent Bulls' defence," said Dobson.
Western Province have a bye next weekend. However, they will be in action against the Cheetahs in two weeks time and Dobson said that the team would take the positives from the second half comeback, in which they earned themselves a bonus point for scoring four tries, into their next match.
"There is a bit of pride in the Province jersey and I always knew we were going to come back and at one stage it looked as if with five minutes to go we could have got two points," said Dobson.
By Josh Isaacson