Johannesburg - After clinching the 2014 Currie Cup title, Western Province coach Allister Coetzee said their 19-16 championship triumph over the Golden Lions on Saturday had nothing to do with luck.
"What happened was the result of 14 weeks of blood, sweat and tears. You make your own luck," Coetzee said.
"It is true that the Lions missed opportunities, but this has been a process of building a team and now we're sitting with the Currie Cup."
Province won the closely contested final at Newlands on the back of a match-winning display by flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis.
He scored 14 points, while his Lions counterpart Marnitz Boshoff converted three out of seven attempts.
Chance to win
It was a bad kicking day for the Lions, as back-up marksman Ruan Combrinck also had a chance to make a contribution but fluffed one attempt.
Desolated by the loss, Lions coach Johan Ackermann was disappointed after falling short of the title.
"My heart is sore for the Lions players. We lost but we did more than enough to win. We've learnt lessons in this match that we can take with us into the future," Ackermann said.
"We had a chance to win and we can't put our failure down to one man [Boshoff]. We gave away soft penalties in what was a team effort.
"Our decision-making was also not so good, but credit to WP because their defence was outstanding."
Lions made the unconventional decision to declining the "captain's run" before the encounter.
Ackermann said there was no proof that their decision contributed to the defeat, or Boshoff's poor kicking form.
Lot of pressure
"It was otherwise an even match. We made a decision to travel on the day of the match and I can't see why it could have placed us at a disadvantage.
"It's something we'll do again, and if it makes a difference, we'll send the team's kickers ahead one day before," Ackermann said.
Lion's captain Warren Whiteley was dejected after the loss, but felt that Ackermann's decision could not be faulted.
"We were just not good enough in the first half when they played fantastically well and put us under a lot of pressure," Whiteley said.
"Our second-half improvement stemmed from more composure and taking the ball through the phases, but we could not get in front."
Meanwhile, Province captain Juan de Jongh had a double celebration as the final marked his 50th appearance the team.
"We vowed at half-time not to let the Lions back into the game, but the opposite happened," said De Jongh.
"We remained calm as the Lions clawed their way back into the game. Winning the Currie Cup is an unbelievable feeling."