Can Province do it?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, WP on 7 Sep 2009 at 08:52
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The question on everybody’s lips after two games in the second round of this year’s Currie Cup is the same:  “How good are Western Province really?”In a competition like this, you need to take your chances when they come and in this respect, at least, Luke Watson’s charges have been superb the last two weeks. Against the Sharks, they put in a superb performance throughout to deny the Durban boys any momentum whatsoever and again this weekend, their forwards really stood up – after a poor start – to give the Bulls a real hiding.

What is really key, of course, is that Province have now faced both the Sharks and the Bulls twice each, during the understrength phase of the competition. There’s very little doubt that WP currently have the strongest squad in the Currie Cup – I say currently, because one feels they may struggle to live with either the Sharks or the Bulls once those sides have their not inconsiderable number of Bok representatives back in the fold.

You have to play what’s in front of you on the day, though, and in doing so, Province have set themselves up beautifully for a home semi-final. They have a potential banana-peel fixture at home to the Cheetahs this week, though, and Naka Drotske’s team are playing virtual knock-out rugby each weekend; they know that one more defeat (which would add to the four they started the season with) will all but put paid to their semi-final ambitions. Should Province be able to beat the Cheetahs this weekend, then an away encounter in Johannesburg is about the only thing standing between them and a home semi-final.

It’s a wonderful position to be in.

The Sharks, currently in top spot, but clinging pretty precariously by virtue of superior points difference, will know that they really do need to win in Pretoria this weekend to keep the pressure up on Province. The latter still have 15 “bankable” points coming up, with the Leopards away and Boland and Griquas at home still coming up. The Sharks have already played one of their “gimmes”, so will need to find a try-scoring bonus against one of the big guns somewhere along the way, lest Province pip them at the post. With the Cheetahs and Lions yet to visit ABSA Stadium, the Sharks, who should have their Boks back for those games, should really be targeting maximum points in both fixtures.

The team that’s suddenly starting to look like they may be at a cross-roads is the Bulls, having now lost two games in succession – admittedly away from home against top opposition. They have a run of MUCH easier games coming up, though, making this weekend’s clash against the Sharks their biggest remaining hurdle, apart from a home game against the desperate Cheetahs in a few weeks’ time. They will, of course, be at full strength for that game.

So, for Province fans, there is much to be optimistic about, particularly given the fact that their really tough games are behind them. They should be hoping that the Bulls give the Sharks a real klap at Loftus, in order to open up a handy gap at the top of the log. They’ll need all the luck they can get, though, against whichever of these teams they face in the knock-outs.


  • WP lose Jack soon and he has made a huge difference to the team. So WP have a little more to do in the knock out phases.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.09.09 08:57:38 by try time Reply
  • hey rob, what do you think the sharks team are gonna look like when the boks come back, i just cant figure out who is going where?

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.09.09 09:00:05 by willa Reply
  • @willa (Comment 2) : well we won’t have frans back and i don’t think wp will have jean de villiers back. but we will get ryan, ruan, (i-laaik-to-give-the-ball-to-aussies)adi, the front row, odwa and jp. only problem is we also get muller back as captain. that really ruins the outlook.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.09.09 09:05:45 by try time Reply
  • @try time (Comment 3) : are you sure about frans?

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.09.09 09:07:27 by willa Reply
  • what does look like happening is the final will be between the top cc team and a top s14/bok team. it is likely sharks and bulls will fight out the one spot with their boks back and wp and another will fight for the other spot with their cc teams. making the final a bit of a one sided affair.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.09.09 09:09:30 by try time Reply
  • @willa (Comment 4) : even if he does come back, do you think plumtree will use him? we have enough backup and plum would rather get his future combos going.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.09.09 09:13:54 by try time Reply
  • accommodating Rory, Charl, Ruan, Hernandez, Swanepoel, Murray and Jacobs all in 4 spots… that’s going to be the tough part!

    the pack will pick itself.

    1 Beast, 2 Bis, 3 John, 4 Syjkes, 5 Muller, 6 Botes, 7 Deysel, 8 Kanko
    Not to do what to do about 16/17, though… Burden deserves to be there, but so do Deon and Jannie…

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.09.09 09:15:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • remember how brad was benched when the news of his going to sarcens was out the bag. it isn’t in the coaches best interest, unless their are injuries.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.09.09 09:16:31 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 6) : I wouldn’t bother with him.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.09.09 09:17:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • Semi is an absolute minimum requirement from here on in. Can’t see WP going all the way though. They’ll come up against a full strength Bulls/Sharks in either the Semi or Final should they make it.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.09.09 09:19:41 by McLovin Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : exactly, there is nothing to gain. he has stuffed the Sharks around, why should he get a hero’s welcome. when we wanted him to play 15 he was adamant to play 10 or 12 at the detriment to the team. no lets get our future combos together.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.09.09 09:21:01 by try time Reply

  • In the recent SASI Fransie tunes the Bok side will never be the same again as he and JdV are leaving after the Tri-Nations. 🙄

    Not short on confifence young Frans. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.09.09 09:21:41 by McLovin Reply

  • now there is a first the sharks don’t start the s14 against a local team. we get chiefs at home. not a bad start to have.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.09.09 09:22:53 by try time Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 12) : thats the arrogant fransie we know.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.09.09 09:25:33 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 14) : Seems he has his heart set on playing 10.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.09.09 09:37:30 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 15) : thats great. he won’t be messing up our season next year, and maybe the trip away from deddie might make him a better player. the guy has skills. pity his ego gets in the way. i think he could be a future bok 10 if he works hard at it. european rugby will definitely make him sink or swim. look at how it sharpened percy’s and stefan’s games. admittedly both ended up playing 15 in sa when they returned.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.09.09 09:41:58 by try time Reply

  • On a different note why do the SA media guys, like on Boots & All, refer to WP, Bulls, Cheetahs etc as Vodacom WP, Bulls, Cheetahs?

    It sounds stupid and unnecessary. The NZ/Aus guys don’t do it. The UK media certainly don’t.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.09.09 09:44:42 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 15) : isn’t he going to the club that Wilkinson is at?

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.09.09 09:49:52 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 18) : Nah, he’s going to the club where Mehrtens is at. 🙂

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.09.09 09:52:00 by McLovin Reply

  • No they can’t. They may be able to top the log but an away final for the Sharks with their Boks back will be a piece of piss.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.09.09 09:55:33 by klempie Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 19) : oh lovely, I would def drop Mehrtens in favour of Fransie 😈

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.09.09 09:58:42 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 21) : Mehrtens is probably old enough to be his father. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.09.09 09:59:54 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 17) : Vodacom sponsor much of the broadcast so I guess it’s them flexing their muscle. You don’t often hear about the Xerox Lions. I personally enjoy the fact that we’re the only team untainted by sponsor names.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.09.09 10:01:10 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 23) : And there’s no doubt that almost everyone knows who your sponsor is. Its really great stuff from Mr P.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.09.09 10:05:04 by molly Reply
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  • I really wou;dn’t be that confident if I were Province. They lose Jack in a week or 2, JDV is very much iffy and Schalk is the only other Bok, so they gain one player and lose 2 in the next few weeks.

    They will most likely make the semis and for me, it would be great for the sharks and wp to play in the final so we can beat them with a fullstrength side.

    Sharks are getting back almost an entire tight five, some of the best backline players around and will be very tough to beat.

    Our yougsters have done us proud in the meantime.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.09.09 10:08:46 by Baldrick Reply

  • @Baldrick (Comment 25) : But we’ll have a more settled team. It could go either way, we also have been the sharks’s only losses this CC, it’ll give us a psychological edge, I hope.

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.09.09 10:12:55 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 24) : I’ll relay your concerns to Stuttafords so they’re aware of them come the next round of sponsorhip negotiations. 🙄

    Just goes to show how good the Sharks really are. If Mr Price were throwing enough money at the Sharks then they’d be demanding they were called the Mr Price Sharks (awful), but they’re not. Practically any other team that matters in SA has big bucks thrown at them by Africa’s biggest telecom and only the Bulls are able to compete with us. 😎 Mr Price simply does not have the same kind of brand association levels with the Sharks as Vodacom has with the others. Sharks forever!

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.09.09 10:17:39 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 27) : Now if we can just get the stadium renamed back to KP…. 😈

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.09.09 10:22:24 by klempie Reply

  • I fail to see how vodacom can ‘demand’ that a team be called a certain name by all the media. Surely their deal is only with the union and only the union can be expected to include the sponsor’s name in the team name.

    But then again it’s no big deal. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.09.09 10:23:25 by McLovin Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 27) : I’m not sure you got my post, I was being complimentary, it REALLY is good stuff from Mr P.

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.09.09 10:24:09 by molly Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 17) : mclovin you only picked up on this now. it has been a pet gripe of mine for over a year. have you also noticed that teams sponsored by vodacom get more absa currie cup games shown on supersport.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.09.09 10:26:14 by try time Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 27) : its more about who controls multichoice, and it looks like vodacom has a major stake.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.09.09 10:28:32 by try time Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 29) : but isn’t it Vodacom Boots and All, and Vodacom’s All Out Rugby? oh Vodacom Super14? Damn you vodacom

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.09.09 10:29:19 by molly Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 29) : they don’t demand they pay. i am sure the guys on supersport are paid a bonus for everytime they say vodascum.

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.09.09 10:29:31 by try time Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 29) : Demand is the wrong word. It’s more like “exert pressure”. Like I said, Vodacom sponsors much of the SS broadcast so they have a contractual relationship with SS. It wouldn’t surprise me if the contractual terms specify fully naming Vodacom sponsored teams.

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.09.09 10:29:37 by klempie Reply

  • @try time (Comment 32) : Crap man. MTN are in the same group as Multichoice. Vodacom has no share in it.

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.09.09 10:30:57 by klempie Reply

  • @try time (Comment 34) : :mrgreen:

    PS. Vodacom may be expensive but they are far and away the best. I’m always hearing gripes from mates on MTN and Cell C. The Vodascum comment is uncalled for. 👿 😛

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.09.09 10:32:31 by klempie Reply

  • @try time (Comment 31) : Only watched Boots and All last week for the first time in a very long time. 🙂

    Didn’t notice the second part. Will definitely be keep a eye on it from now on. 😈

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.09.09 10:33:49 by McLovin Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 37) : then let their service speak for itself, don’t make me pay half my subscription to fund pointless marketing.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.09.09 10:34:07 by try time Reply

  • i think it sucks i pay more to phone a mobile or on my mobile in this country than it is to phone a mate overseas. and all the money i pay vodacom goes to rugby teams i don’t support.

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.09.09 10:39:31 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 40) : Very true. I hadn’t thought about it from that angle. Hmmmm. Maybe time for a change. 😛

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.09.09 10:41:13 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 41) : you need to change your avatar to show vodacom blue bulls. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.09.09 10:45:00 by try time Reply

  • supersport doesn’t even call the boks the sasol boks.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.09.09 10:46:16 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 42) : OK Wa’s my looi?? 👿

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.09.09 10:49:11 by klempie Reply

  • @molly (Comment 30) : Oh ok! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.09.09 10:59:24 by klempie Reply

  • And who said the Currie Cup was boring ?

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.09.09 11:40:54 by blackshark Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 46) : me. have you seen the quality of the rugby. far too many mistakes for a premier tournament.

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.09.09 12:14:23 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 47) :

    I’ve seen a lot of good stuff too…

    Plus the mistakes can creep in everywhere…Super 14 …TriNations etc…

    We have more than 4 teams still with a chance of making the semi’s …I think we’re going to see more good rugby in the next few weeks…

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.09.09 14:22:59 by blackshark Reply

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  • I dont think WP will win the cup, if they do…. Nah! Not gonna happen.

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.09.09 20:01:39 by JarsonX (Insomniac) Reply
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  • We`ll see how De Jongh performs at 12 with Welsch outside him.
    If Habana joins them as well it`s gonna be a Bulls backline BAHAHAHA!

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.09.09 07:25:43 by Original Pierre Reply
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