Coetzee: Sharks outfoxed us
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province coach Allister Coetzee
admitted to being very disappointed after his team's 33-19 Currie Cup final loss to the Sharks.As it happened: WP v SharksGALLERY: The Currie Cup final in pictures
Province were unbeaten in 11 Currie Cup matches in a row leading into the final, but came unstuck against a fired-up Sharks side who led 19-13 at half-time and scored two tries to one in the end - reversing last year’s final result in Durban in the process.
Coetzee couldn't hide his disappointment afterwards - and understandably so - especially after the incredible support on the day at Newlands, as 46 564 fans packed into the stadium for the final.
“It’s very disappointing but credit must go to the Sharks, they were deserved winners (tonight). We’ve worked hard… but that’s how things go I guess,” Coetzee told the WP Rugby website
“It was especially disappointing in front of our home fans, but we’d like to thank the faithful for their amazing support throughout the year - during Super Rugby and (now during) the Currie Cup.
“You know, this was just our second defeat at Newlands this year and our first loss in any competition since we (the Stormers) lost in Melbourne May of this year. It makes it even tougher I guess, and we wanted to win this one for our fans, but we’ll take it on the chin and we will be back next year.”
Coetzee further praised the Sharks for their tactical approach on the night, adding: “I have to compliment them, they were tactically very good. They took us out of our comfort zone, in terms of dealing with those chip-kicks behind the ruck.
“It is obviously somebody who knows a lot about our defence system. The way they applied the pressure, not playing at all and just kicking it away, coming off the line hard and disrupting the breakdown - it was a very effective plan,” added the WP boss.
Meanwhile, inspirational WP skipper Deon Fourie
lamented his team’s high error-rate, saying: “We said during the week, finals are won by the team making the least number of mistakes.
“We were very disappointing with that part of our game - we went out of structure,” added Fourie.
“They kept us in our half with kicks and then we made mistakes in our half. We just couldn’t get out of our half and that put us under more pressure, especially after going behind (by 0-10) inside the first 10 minutes."
Meanwhile, the was some consolation for Cape fans as the Western Province Under-21s won their Provincial Under-21 final 30-23 against the Blue Bulls Under-21 side.
“It was a pleasing win for us against a star-studded Bulls team,” said WP Under-21 coach John Dobson.
“We had some big injury disruptions heading into the playoffs, losing key men like Ollie Kebble, Gerbrandt Grobler and Jurie van Vuuren, but the guys stuck to their guns and showed great commitment. I am a proud coach, but (also) thankful to my fellow coaches and players.”