“It was far and away our worst performance of the season and the Sharks thoroughly deserved to win the match of that I have no doubt”
Western Province coach John Dobson says the team might have lost their way in their Currie Cup final defeat against the Sharks at Newlands at the weekend.
During the league stage of the competition, WP secured bonus-points in all six of their games before cruising into the play-offs.
Their attacking approach allowed them to score 38 tries in six games before their semi against the Blue Bulls, but it was a very different Province outfit that ran out on Saturday ahead of what Dobson described as their “far and away the worst performance”.
“It was far and away our worst performance of the season and the Sharks thoroughly deserved to win the match of that I have no doubt” Dobson said.
“I felt sad for the people that came to Newlands to see that spectacle we served up today.
“A big accent the whole week was to stay true to ourselves and maybe there was an element of us losing our way. Our body language wasn’t as good as it’s been, was it?”
Province’s line-out struggled from the get go and on Saturday there wasn’t one particular trend or mistake that made their set-piece an unpleasant one.
Dobson – who after the game said that it was a combination of overthrows, underthrows and just not keeping it simple enough – lamented the disaster that took place when the packs lined up.
“What is important is to look at facts and not the emotion of it. If you are going to lose eight line-outs, you are making another 40 tackles. It is very hard to defend turnovers when we are going backwards and they are going forward at such a speed.
“The overriding thing is that if we had won six of those line-outs, it could have been a different result. We lost by five points.
“If we had won those line-outs, it is guaranteed that we would have scored one try.
“Last year on our way to the final we really struggled with our line-out and yet in the play-offs I don’t think we lost one, which is contrary to what happened this year.”