Vodacom Western Province coach Allister Coetzee believes that the pressure will be on the Sharks heading into the final weekend of league fixtures in the Absa Currie Cup.
Sport 24 reports that WP and the Sharks ended the weekend level on log points at the top of the standings with 49 points each. The Cape side though, due to their superior points’ differential, are the current log-leaders.
Province face the Xerox Lions in Johannesburg in their final league fixture of the season, while the Sharks have the tough task of travelling to Kimberley for their match against the GWK Griquas on Saturday.
“We are top of the log and our captain Luke Watson and the team must take all the credit for this achievement,” said Coetzee.
“Our intentions will be to go to Johannesburg and achieve a win and if we can secure a bonus point for scoring four tries, even better. So we’ll only be concentrating on what we have to do in the next few days.
“I think for a side like the Sharks or any other side chasing us, the pressure will be on them. It’s never easy going to Kimberley and we all know why. So I think it’s going to be a very interesting end to the Absa Currie Cup.”
Vodacom Western Province captain Luke Watson ran in a hat trick of tries as the hosts outclassed the Boland Cavaliers 50-7 at Newlands on Saturday.
The Cape side looked to throw the ball wide at most opportunities in the first half and scored three enterprising tries. In the second, as Coetzee introduced his substitutes, the hosts went back to the basics were rewarded with four more tries.
Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, lock Andries Bekker, scrumhalf Ricky Januarie and winger Tonderai Chavhanga were the other try scorers for the hosts. Fullback Joe Pietersen kicked six conversions and a penalty.
The Cavaliers scored one try thanks to an intercept by Deon Scholtz late in the second half. Substitute back, Mark Harris converted Scholtz’s try.
In Durban, the Sharks eliminated the Xerox Lions from this season’s Absa Currie Cup semi-final race by defeating their opponents 19-17 at the Absa Stadium on Saturday.
The Johannesburg side though kept the hosts at bay and did not allow the Sharks a bonus-point victory, thus relegating them to second place on the log standings.
The defending champions made numerous handling errors at crucial periods in the match in their search for scoring four tries. As a result, the hosts only managed to run in one try which was scored by Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis. Bok utility back Ruaan Pienaar kicked the conversion and also slotted three penalties while Argentinean pivot, Juan Hernandez kicked a drop goal.
Xerox Lions scrumhalf Chris Jonck scored the only try of the match for the visitors. Flyhalf Herkie Kruger kicked three penalties while Jonck kicked a fourth penalty in the second half of this clash.
The result for the Sharks now mean that they will have to defeat the GWK Griquas in Kimberley next Saturday and hope that Vodacom Western Province slip on their road trip to Johannesburg, to end the season in first position on the log.
GWK Griquas kept their semi-final aspirations alive by securing a crucial bonus point for scoring four tries in their Absa Currie Cup match against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts though were the ultimate winners and ran in eight tries to comprehensively defeat their opponents at Loftus Versveld.
Springbok stars Bryan Habana and Morne Steyn both ran in a brace of tries while Zane Kirchner, Danie Rossouw, Pierre Spies and Bandise Maku were the other try-scorers for the Pretoria team.
Steyn converted five tries and kicked three penalties while SA Under-20 pivot Francois Brummer also kicked one conversion.
GWK scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, flanker Davon Raubenheimer, centre Barry Geel and flyhalf Naas Olivier were the try-scorers for the visitors. Olivier kicked two conversions and a penalty.
In the other Absa Currie Cup Premier Division match of the weekend, the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs kept their semi-final aspirations by securing maximum points during their 60-17 victory over the Platinum Leopards in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
The hosts ran in eight tries at a wet Vodacom Park in the Free State capital. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Ashley Johnson, Hendro Scholtz, Frans Viljoen, WP Nel, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe and captain Nico Breedt were the players to score tries for the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs.
Scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn kicked five conversions while substitute pivot Louis Strydom also converted two tries. Vodacom Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Potgieter kicked two penalties.
Centre Deon van Rensburg and fullback Danie Dames scored one try each for the Platinum Leopards. Scrumhalf Jean Tiedt converted Van Rensburg’s try and also kicked a penalty while Niell Jacobs converted Dames’ try.Tweet