Province pick themselves up to beat Sharks

Luke Watson said the key to Western Province’s 21-9 victory over the Sharks in Durban was his team’s ability to stamp its authority on the match in the second half.


The Province skipper praised his players’ efforts to regroup after errors thwarted their best efforts earlier in the match.

“In the beginning we (WP) were were disrupted because we were not so clinical,” said Watson (pictured).

“We let ourselves down but the good thing was that we were able to compose ourselves and put our structures back into place.

“As the Sharks were on top of the (Currie Cup) table it was never going to be an easy game coming here, and they did not disappoint us.

“At times, I thought we were quite clinical and we came here (Durban) for four points, so we were are very happy.”

Sharks skipper Johan Muller cut a very sad figure after the match, which was the side’s second defeat of the season. The Sharks also lost their first-round meeting against Province, who triumphed 29-15 at Newlands last month.

“We are very disappointed losing at home, especially as we really wanted to win this one,” said Muller.

“But you have to give Province credit because their defence was absolutely outstanding.

“They put us under a lot of pressure at ruck time and their ball feeders were outstanding.

“We just couldn’t get our game going. “We’ve had six wins in a row and that’s great for any side but the most disappointing thing is that we lost at home.

“We (the Sharks) love this place (Absa Stadium) and we don’t want to lose here. To come away with no points is not great.”

Province lock Anton van Zyl was named ‘Man-of-the-Match’ for his sterling performance in the tight exchanges. “It’s a wonderful feeling winning the award but I must give credit to the rest of the pack,” said Van Zyl.

“Our front row was outstanding in the scrums today and our loosies put a lot of pressure on the Sharks at the breakdowns. “When Province scored that try after halftime we played catch-up rugby from that point onwards.”

This victory allows Province to move to the top of the log as they advanced their points tally from 24 to 28 points. The Sharks, the hitherto log-leaders, will remain on 27 points, after they failed to collect a single point from Saturday afternoon’s clash.

Next week the Sharks will be away to Boland in Wellington, while Province will host the Blue Bulls at Newlands.

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