Province embrace the pressure

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:31
Large john dobson newlands tunnel 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Western Province head coach John Dobson said his players are ready to fight for their place in the Currie Cup Premier Division play-offs.

Province are in sixth position on the standings after two wins and three losses from their five games. They have set themselves the target of getting a maximum of 15 points from their remaining three games against the Pumas, Griquas and Boland to reach the play-offs.

Despite the pressure weighing down on them, especially after their 32-58 loss against the Golden Lions last weekend, Dobson is encouraged by the attitude of his players heading into their Round Seven encounter against the Pumas.

"We are under pressure, but I think the guys are very keen," Dobson told reporters at Newlands.

"Sometimes teams fold and sometimes they stand up and try and prove people wrong and there is no doubt that [the latter] is the decision they [players] made."

Defence is one area Province will be hoping to improve on after they conceded eight tries in Johannesburg. However, Dobson has also pinpointed his team's accuracy on attack and their driving maul as areas they need to focus on as well. 

"With our attack, we felt we worked very hard for those tries against the Lions and the work rate of the pack was not really good enough in the [Lions] 22," said Dobson.

"In that whole game the Lions spent three minutes in our 22 and they got eight tries. We spent close to seven minutes in their 22 for our [four] tries. I don't think our system and work rate was good enough in their 22.

He added: "We have always been a good mauling team for the last six or seven years. We got two maul penalties against the Lions and we got them on the back foot a couple of time, but it was still not our standard."

The Pumas are still without a win in this year's tournament and are sitting in eighth place on the standings with five bonus points.

Despite the Nelspruit team's record, Dobson knows that they will provide his team with a big challenge on Saturday.  

"I expected more from them [Pumas] to be honest. They are a good outfit and it is very professional up there [in Nelspruit]. 

"They were very unlucky against Griquas and against Boland, so they are better team than where they are now.

"We played up there in the Currie Cup qualifiers and we won it, but we had a very hard game against them. They are very big and physical and they are a very similar team to the one that won the Vodacom Cup last year," Dobson added.

@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1