Louw to be WP's trump card?
Francois Louw (Gallo Images)
Cape Town – Western Province may be bolstered by Springbok flank Francois Louw for Saturday’s Currie Cup match against Griquas in Kimberley.
Province have lost in the City Of Diamonds for the past two seasons – 20-21 in 2008 and 32-33 in 2009 – and the Bok star may well be a trump card after not playing in the weekend’s victory over the Pumas at Newlands.
Coach Allister Coetzee probably knew that his side could beat the Pumas quite comfortably without Louw and the outstanding loose forward should be fresh for the game against Griquas.
Griquas have already beaten the Sharks and Lions on their home field this year and are third on the log.
Province are heading into the Griquas match on the back of good momentum and the performance by the forwards in Friday’s runaway 54-13 win over the Pumas inspires a lot of confidence prior to a tough game in Kimberley.
“I was satisfied with the scrums. The Pumas are strong on the hit and work hard after that. You have to be good to beat that and I think the players were excellent. But Griquas have a bit more bite about them (than the Pumas),” said WP forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot.
He will know come the end of August just how far WP are towards achieving their goal of being a dominant pack on a regular basis.
Province are playing Griquas, the Blue Bulls, the Sharks and Free State this month. The first game in September will be against the Lions in Johannesburg.
“It’s going to be a tough month for me and the forwards. I will be able to tell you exactly where we are after the coming five weeks,” said Proudfoot.
“You can’t be successful if your forwards don’t dominate. We spoke after the Super 14 and the feeling was that we would have to improve our work ethic so that we can learn to be a dominant pack.
“The forwards’ recent performance against the Leopards was just okay and that left a bad taste in my mouth. The players felt the same way about it. I wanted them to dominate and the attitude against the Pumas was much better.”
Tighthead prop Brok Harris caught the eye with his work-rate against the Pumas. There was a crash-tackle on Pumas loosehead Ronnie Uys that was one of the moments of the match.
“Brok and Ronnie have known one another for a while and were in Potchefstroom together. Brok was a young boy when Ronnie was there, so I think there was a bit of history in that tackle,” said Proudfoot.
Dewaldt Duvenage and Deon Fourie should also be considered for the game in Kimberley after resting over the weekend.
Duvenage is set to slot back in at scrumhalf, while Fourie is likely to return as substitute hooker.
Springbok backs Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh will both be available again after playing well against the Pumas. Aplon’s finishing was superb, while De Jongh also looked dangerous on attack.