Watson happy Province are ‘home and dry’

Regardless of the outcome of next week’s match against the Lions in Johannesburg, Western Province secured a home Currie Cup semifinal berth following their 50-7 victory over the Boland Cavaliers at a sweltering Newlands on Saturday afternoon.


Luke Watson, the Province skipper (pictured), said he was impressed by the way his side adjusted in the intense heat.


“It was not easy out there today because of Boland’s rush defence and the heat of course,” said Watson.


“Last week we played in water and this week it was around 30 degrees so it was tough.”

 

“But the boys kept their focus and I’m proud of them.”

 

Allister Coetzee, the Province coach, said he felt the most impressive thing was that his side combined well on the day.

“Ater making eight changes, I’m pleased with the way things went,” said Coetzee.


“The guys who came in for today’s match used their chances well.


“They stayed with the team’s structures even though some of them showed they were a bit rusty. It was good to see.


“To get a home semifinal was the first goal. From now on our fate is in our hands.


“Of course, Boland did a great job of keeping the score down because many of the players were trying to impress us here at Western Province.


“It did not help our cause that some of their (Boland) players knew our calls because they were prepared for the different moves.”


Chester Williams, Boland’s director of coaching, said he was pleased that his side showed a measure of improvement against Province.

 

Last week the Cavaliers conceded 13 tries to the Blue Bulls but leaked only seven to Province.

“For two weeks in a row we had lots of points scored against us,” said Williams.


“But we proved today that we are improving and a lot of 50/50 situations in the match did not go our way. It might have gone better.


“I’m confident that we’ll survive and it looks like we’ll be playing the Mpumalanga Pumas (in the relegation/promotion playoffs).


“The (court) case (involving coach Deon Davids) has had an unsettling effect on the team but they are trying to focus on what they do on the field.”


Rito Hlungwane, the Boland skipper, praised Province’s prowess at line-out time.


“Western Province are easily the best in the country,” said Hlungwane.


“With Andries Bekker – he’s a rather tall fellow – back in action the Province line-out looked really good.”

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