Coetzee : Province were lucky to get a draw

Western Province Currie Cup coach Allister Coetzee admitted that his team were
lucky to come away with a draw in their opening match.

Western Province missed a golden opportunity to become the only team to record
a win at home in the weekend’s opening round of 2013 Currie Cup fixtures after
the Blue Bulls forced a dramatic 24-all draw on Saturday.

As the match wound to its close, Province were actually poised to score a fourth
bonus-point try and once they spurned that opportunity, their hopes of victory
disappeared in the Newlands night air.

Bulls flyhalf Tony Jantjies missed an injury-time conversion which would have
consigned Province to defeat and, on the evening’s display, would have been
a tad harsh on the home side.

Province coach Allister Coetzee said his side had a let-off when Jantjies’
goal attempt had gone wide.

“We were lucky they (Blue Bulls) missed kicks, otherwise the result would
have been different,” said Coetzee after the match.

“This result, and the results of the other two matches, showed us that
it is going to be a tough Currie Cup.

“We could have been the only home side to win this weekend, and the result
was not what we wanted.

It was a wake-up call for Province and the team cannot expect to just turn
up and win, he said.

“Mentally, we were not focused enough. In the second half, the Bulls grew
in confidence and composure.

“We played against ourselves, our turnover count was too high and our
discipline wasn’t good. We gave away 13 penalties. If they had made their kicks
they could perhaps have won, so we were lucky in the end.

Bulls coach Pine Pienaar felt his second-half substitutions had the desired
impact.

“I think all our reserves made a big impact when they joined the action,”
said Pienaar.

“At halftime, I asked the players, many of whom are inexperienced, to
stick with the playing plan and then we started to play good rugby.

“We decided that for this match the set-piece would be important. Once
the youngsters stuck to the plan they made a good step up and that gives us
(the coaches) confidence to work with them for the rest of the season.

He said many of the youngsters wanted to make their mark and stake claims for
Super Rugby next year.

Province captain Deon Fourie cut a crestfallen figure and expressed his disappointment
at the team’s scrum performance and lack of discipline towards the end of the
match.

“We let it slip there (scrums),” said Fourie. “We worked hard
on it, but it didn’t come off.

“Also, discipline cost us and I was the main culprit and we have to work
on that.

“Maybe it was first-game jitters, but next week we are at home again,
so hopefully we can sort all that out.”

Bulls captain Jono Ross was delighted with the outcome, which he felt was as
good as a win.

“Before the game we asked for a big effort from each player and that is
what we got,” said Ross.

“A draw is never a nice result for any team, but we will be happy with
the performance we put out there, as well as the effort and the work rate.

“We put in a massive effort at the set pieces and it paid dividends. I
can’t ask for more than that and hopefully we can build on that.”

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