Western Province for Currie Cup final

Western Province say that they are ready to face the Sharks in the Currie Cup final but the Sharks Currie Cup championship record and recent persistent rain in Durban will rest heavily on their minds.


Although no injuries were reported on Monday, Deon Fourie, Marcel Brache, Gio Aplon and Eben Etzebeth did not train with the squad as a precautionary measure.


“Deon, Marcel and Gio didn’t train but that was just a way of managing their niggles, but they will all be available to play in the final,” Province’s coach Allister Coetzee said.


“Etzebeth is nursing a cold, which started last week, but he’ll be out running with us on Tuesday.


“It’s quite a big positive for us to emerge from the Lions’ match without injuries and everyone from that match squad will be available for the final.”


Coetzee heaped praise on the Sharks for the way they disposed of the Blue Bulls in Saturday’s semi-final in Durban.


“The Sharks had a plan to strangle the Bulls and it worked very well. That was a quality Bulls’ side, but they were restricted to a mere three points in the match and that tells a story of just how good the Sharks were.


“The Sharks have also done well in the wet weather and their plans for the heavy fields have worked well.”


Coetzee said his team had played in the wet in Durban in the past and he was relying on those experiences to prime his side for the expected rainy conditions on Saturday.


“The Sharks have a tremendous record in Currie Cup finals and after winning two in the last five years we know that we have quite a job on our hands,” Coetzee said.


The Sharks have reached four Currie Cup finals in the past five years.


During this period, Province have managed only one final appearance, which they lost 30-10 in Durban in 2010.


Flyhalf Pat Lambie has struck a rich vein of form for the Sharks, but Coetzee felt his side would not be singling out the number 10 for special attention.


“A player like Lambie is a class act and as opponents there’s not much we can do about that,” he said.


“We’d rather focus on the opponent as a whole and make sure that our plans are in place. We can’t worry about Lambie alone because the whole Sharks’ team is a very powerful one.


“We also know that they have a strong contingent on the bench and that includes a Springbok or two.”

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