'WP scrum must improve'
Cape Town - The personnel might well have changed but the goal remains the same against the Blue Bulls.
"It's one thing to know what you need to do but another to actually do it," said Western Province forward coach Matthew Proudfoot ahead of Saturdays Currie Cup match against the men from Pretoria.
Gary Botha is the only member of the Bulls' tight five who did Super Rugby duty who is still available for selection.
Props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger are touring with the Springboks, while locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha are on the list of "injured" Springboks.
Danie Rossouw and Flip van der Merwe are also on Springbok duty which means Fudge Mabeta and Juandre Kruger will make up the second row.
Gurthrö Steenkamp and Chiliboy Ralepelle are also not available.
Yet still you will struggle to find someone who would call them vulnerable - especially after coming back from being 3-17 down against Free State to win 33-30.
"Their game plan remains he same. They attack you in every scrum and are very good at short lineouts. They still use the same lineout system used by Victor Matfield. Juandré Kruger is very athletic. Their philosophy with regard to taking your tight five on is still very much part of their plan," said Proudfoot.
He did acknowledge that the WP scrum had improved against the Leopards, but he expects more from his pack.
"I was still not happy with our scrum. I do not think we are maintaining the pressure after the hit. The timing of the hit is fine but if we want to mix it with the Sharks, Bulls, Free State and Lions we need to maintain that pressure after the hit."
WP managed to keep their Stormers front row but have had to pit together new lock and loose forward combinations.
"It's a question of synergy. We need a good foundation because in Nick Koster we have a man who carries the ball well from the base of the scrum and we want to use him as an attacking weapon - like the Bulls use Pierre Spies," said Proudfoot.
If WP's players are able to stand up to the physicality of the Bulls, they would stand a chance to beat the men from Pretoria.
"There are not many sides that would have been able to wipe out a deficit in the way they did on Saturday. The manner in which they fought back to win the game was really impressive," said Proudfoot.
"I don't think Pine Pienaar (new Bulls coach) changed much. That old fighting spirit is still there.
"They are probably trying to launch a few more counter attacks but still use the same old defensive structure.
"Pine thus makes use of the best aspects of their game while also adding a bit of the attacking style he employed at the Cheetahs."