Vodacom Western Province is hard at work in preparation of their Vodacom Cup quarter-final on Saturday against the Natal Wildebeest.
The match will be played at Newlands with a 15:00 kick-off.
Coach Jerome Paarwater had his team sweating in two sessions on three days last week. On Thursday and Friday the players had a bit of time off.
Province finished the league phase of the competition unbeaten in the Southern Section. Paarwater was not too happy about the performance in the last match, a draw at Newlands against the defending champions Griquas.
He, however, said his charges told him they were frustrated by the referee’s interpretation of the laws at the breakdown.
“He penalised our guys who play to the ball the whole time – guys like Britz, Melck, Myburgh and David Hendricks were penalised for going off their feet.
“It was a small technical thing, but it prevented us from playing from turnovers – which is one of our strong points. Saturday’s ref’s approach was completely different to what we had previously.”
Paarwater reckons the fact that Province was already assured of a quarter-final berth maybe could have led to a bit of complacency. “Griquas still had a lot to play for. They had to win to get a home semi and possibly a home final.
“If they’ve won, they would have achieved their goal. That was important motivation for them. We are, however, glad that we are still unbeaten, even though there wasn’t really much in that game for us.
“It was a difficult week to motivate the players. But what was reassuring from the players’ side was the pride they have shown in the second half. They just decided that it wasn’t that difficult to win that match and started to play better rugby.”
The preparation will resume again on Monday. Paarwater said the only player he cannot consider for the Wildebeest game is fiery flanker Conrad Britz, who injured his knee.
“If we go through to the semi’s he should be ready,” commented Paarwater before adding that flank Tyrone Holmes is back in the picture after breaking a hand against the Leopards.
Flank David Hendricks also played as a substitute against Griquas after returning from injury.