Western Province coach Allister Coetzee may make a couple of changes to his side for Friday’s Currie Cup clash against the Valke in Brakpan after his team produced their “worst performance of the season” against Griquas this past Saturday.
Ashfak Mohamed reports for IOL.
Province went down 21-20 in Kimberley, which Coetzee described to the Cape Times on Sunday as “very disappointing”. WP made a bright start, but after the opening quarter they played without any direction or purpose against a tough Griquas side that never gave up.
One player who is likely to miss out on the Valke game is flank Pieter Myburgh, but through injury. Myburgh hurt his knee on Saturday and Coetzee said that he will go for a MRI scan today.
“We will wait for the scan, but Pieter will possibly miss Friday’s game,” he said.
“I may make a couple of changes because this was not an acceptable performance, but I first want to go through the game carefully before I make any definite decisions. We as coaches and players must take responsibility.”
Wing Tonderai Chavhanga left the field early in the second after a “bump to the head”, according to Coetzee, but he should be fit to play. Loosehead prop Wicus Blaauw took a knock to the shoulder, but should also be fine.
Coetzee was extremely upset after his team produced a poor effort. WP went down after Griquas fullback Riaan Viljoen kicked over a 63m penalty with seven minutes left. “We made a good start, but the players may have thought that this was going to be easy,” said Coetzee.
“We made so many unforced errors. I mean, that try they scored early in the game was gifted to them by us. That is just unacceptable.
“In fact, the way we played was very disappointing. It was our worst performance of the season.”
The WP backline were unable to find a way through or past the Griqua defence as they ran too laterally. The ball was just shifted to wings Wylie Human and Tonderai Chavhanga without any space being created by the inside backs.
Captain Gcobani Bobo tried hard to take the initiative, but halfbacks Alastair Siegelaar and Willem de Waal were not able to take charge.
Coetzee said that Province’s inability to create opportunities on attack showed that certain players were not able to adapt their games to a situation which required a more attacking approach.
Province had only scored three tries in as many matches before the Griquas game.
Coetzee said last week that WP would be focusing on improving their attacking play ahead of the Griquas clash, but there was very little evidence of improvement in Kimberley.
“In the wet games we’ve had, the game was a bit slower. But in dry conditions and a hard field like we had in Kimberley, we need to have more speed in our game and play at a higher tempo,” he said.
“And I don’t want to single out anybody, but I think that some people got found out. They could not produce what we wanted from them.
“When we had to start playing a bit, we couldn’t do it. I thought that we didn’t get the ball out quick enough from the breakdowns, and we battled a bit at No 9 in this game.
“We had to run at them a bit and hold on to the ball, but there was no intensity after the first 10 minutes up to the last 20. Towards the end of the game we started playing a bit better, but it was too late.”
One of those players who may have been “found out” was No 8 AJ Venter. One could argue that he is out of position as he was signed by WP as a lock, but he has played as a loose forward for most of his career. But he was just too slow to keep up with the fast-paced game on Saturday.
Adriaan Fondse has entrenched himself as the “enforcer” lock at WP, so Venter, who would fulfil a similar role, will have to displace Fondse from the starting line-up if he hopes to start in the second row.
Coetzee should consider starting Justin Melck in the loose trio against the Valke, while another loose forward, possibly Pieter Louw, could come in for the injured Myburgh. Louw, who recently returned from a long-term knee injury, is a specialist No 8, so Melck may fill in at flank.Tweet