WP coach John Dobson says he’s not going to “slaughter” his side’s attacking display after their 28-14 bonus-point win against the Pumas.
CAPE TOWN – Western Province coach John John Dobson says he’s not going to “slaughter” his side’s attacking display after their 28-14 bonus-point win against the Pumas at Newlands on Friday night.
It was Province’s first Currie Cup win this season after losing to the Bulls and the Lions, and with them targeting home semi-final, they are going to have win their three remaining games – against Griquas, the Cheetahs and the Sharks – if they want to keep those dreams alive.
While their performance in their third Currie Cup game was far from a complete one, too much criticism would perhaps be unfair seeing as they suffered some major setbacks before and during the game.
Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe withdrew from the game shortly before kick-off, placing the hosts in a tough situation as they had to go into the match without a back-up tighthead on the bench.
They had to call on young frontrower Lee Marvin Mazibuko, who did well, especially seeing as he had to go the full 80.
Flyhalf Tim Swiel also left the field early on, with young 10 Kade Wolhuter taking his place and Damian Willemse remaining at fullback.
Tristan Leyds, who started on the left wing, picked up a concussion during the match.
Apart from the injury situation, Dobson also confirmed that there was disruption brought on by positive Covid-19 cases in their squad building up to the match.
“It was a really tough week for us, we had some Covid issues, we had Frans Malherbe pulling out an hour or two before the game, the other three tightheads – Leon Lyons, Sandi Sandi, and Neetling Fouche – are all out, so to have a tighthead (Mazibuko) come in like that and play 80 minutes … I think we did reasonably well. We didn’t play well, but we showed a lot of character, which I’m pleased with,” he said after the game.
“An hour or two before kick-off I wasn’t even sure if the game was going to go ahead, but I didn’t tell the players. Lee Marvin hadn’t played a full game in years, and the last time he played a game was before lockdown, so that was exceptional.
“I’m not comfortable saying who’s got Covid and who hasn’t got, Frans doesn’t have it, he’s just ill. So, I think judge us when we get a little bit more settled. The flyhalf disruption is not something that can be laughed off, one of the options was to put Kade at fullback just because of his lack of training time. You could see he was cramping in the first half already, that’s how little he trained with us, so I’m not going to pull apart our attack, we had a lot of upheavals.
“Tristan Leyds came off with a concussion, Dan du Plessis was out with a disease and he was only on the bench because with Frans out we were up to 14 or 15 guys out. Of course we didn’t attack well, but I’m not going to slaughter our attack.
“If we can win our last three games, we’ll be in a position to host a semi-final. But we definitely need time to regroup [with all the injuries].
Province have a bye next weekend. Their next game is against Griquas at Newlands on Day of Goodwill.