WP control their own destiny
WP control their own destinySHARE
Losses are never easy to deal with, especially with a team like Western Province that boasts such high standards.
However, coach Allister Coetzee is happy that his charges have their destiny firmly in their own hands.
Western Province remained in third place on the Currie Cup after the second last round of league matches this past weekend, despite going down 13-26 to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria.
The Sharks (now in first place) and the defending champion Golden Lions (second) changed places on the Currie Cup log, but Coetzee remained more interested in his own team's semifinal chances.
"We're in control of our own destiny," said Coetzee on Sunday.
"If we beat the [Free State] Cheetahs next weekend we're in [the semifinals]. If we lose, we're out. It's that simple.
"Our objective has always been to win every match we play, and we know exactly what we need to do this weekend in order to make the semifinals."
Looking back at last Friday's defeat at Loftus Versfeld, Coetzee did not want to dwell on the past but he revealed: "This season has always been about blooding the young guys, but, in turn, still doing well enough for that play-off place.
"Yes, it's been an up and down season, but we've learnt so much in defeat. People tend to forget that this team is so young; guys like Kitshoff, Malherbe, Ntubeni, Du Plessis, De Allende – they're all still Under-21."
Flank Tyrone Holmes (broken nose) was Western Province's only injury casualty from the weekend – he is expected to be out for 10 days – but Coetzee does have the opportunity of integrating his Springboks in the coming weeks, starting this coming Saturday against the Cheetahs (at Newlands).
Said the coach: "I chatted to all the guys [the Springboks] this morning and we should be able to select our best possible side – barring injuries of course.
"At this stage Jean de Villiers is the only potential injury doubt but we'd need to see the guys in person first and then decide."
De Villiers was one of seven Western Province players involved in the Boks' 16-32 loss at Soccer City at the weekend; hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, locks Eben Etzebeth and Andries Bekker, No.8 Duane Vermeulen, centre Juan de Jongh and Bryan Habana the other Province players that could return from Bok duty.
"Don't forget, those Bok players will also be hurting from the weekend," said Coetzee. "But we all have a common understanding here at WP and we know what we want to, and need to, achieve against the Cheetahs this weekend."