Western Province are intent on sharpening their attacking play for Saturday’s Currie Cup encounter against Griquas in Kimberley.
Ashfak Mohamed, IOL.
That was the message from WP coach Allister Coetzee on Monday after practice at a wet and muddy High Performance Centre in Bellville.
WP failed to score any tries in last week’s drab 9-3 win over the Cheetahs at Newlands, but were hampered by the wet conditions.
However, it took WP 75 minutes before they scored their first try against the Blue Bulls the previous week, where they scored two in the last five minutes of the match. WP also only scored a single try against the Sharks in the opening match.
Flyhalf Willem de Waal has kicked superbly this season, but his attacking play has not been as good. De Waal stands too deep and looks to kick most times, so Coetzee could look to change De Waal’s positioning.
“We had a constructive video session, which revolved around our attack,” said Coetzee. “That is an area I think we need to get right. We need to step up there and what came out of our video session helped a lot with rectifying the attack.
“I spoke to the players about forgetting the wet conditions and wet ball. Let’s look at the delivery from the lineout. Let’s look at how we protect the ball and how we carry the ball and how easily we are losing it. It seems as if we can’t string a couple of phases together. It is important to keep your ball for more than three phases.”
However, Coetzee was wary of his team pushing too early to score tries to get a four-try bonus point against Griquas. “We don’t want to think about bonus points before we’ve scored our first try,” he said.
“We still have to build an innings and be patient and accurate. That was our talk this morning and we ironed out certain things at the breakdown, and being more clinical there. We must get the numbers to the ruck and get quick ball to attack with.”
A number of the more experienced players didn’t train on Monday, which Coetzee put down to “niggles” from the Cheetahs game. Willem de Waal, Ross Skeate, AJ Venter and captain Gcobani Bobo sat out training, but Coetzee said that there were no injury concerns.
“We manage players individually. What we should take into consideration is the fact that we played three Super 14 sides. All three games were really tough. And there is nothing we can do about sore bodies,” he said.
“And if you look at the weather and the underfoot conditions, it is not conducive to stiff and sore bodies going out and running there. It is just going to damage the player.
“There are no injury concerns. It is just managing players. It is going to be another physical battle against Griquas. We want to have our pack as fresh as possible.”
Fijian wing Sireli Naqelevuki was scheduled to arrive only late on Monday night in Cape Town, but Coetzee was not sure if he had boarded the flight from Fiji. In the past, Naqelevuki has also missed flights. “He is expected to arrive tonight at 8.40pm,” said Coetzee. “I’m telling you, 8.40pm! His phone is off. So I don’t know if he got on to the plane!”
Coetzee said that Naqelevuki is unlikely to face Griquas. “Sireli has played four games in about four weeks, so he’s had enough game time. He will be assessed tomorrow to see what shape he’s in,” he said.
“It might be wise to give him a break this weekend, so that he can get used to the plays and structures and settle into this new centre and the protocols here. And then we’ll maybe look to play him next week.”Tweet