Sharks v WP: Kicking vital
Robbie Fleck (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province backline coach Robbie Fleck
has emphasised the important role tactical kicking will play in their Currie Cup final against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Fleck believes tactical kicking played a big part in the last few encounters between the two teams, with the Sharks emerging victorious on all those occasions.
The Sharks have won the last three clashes between the teams - once in the Super Rugby semi-finals and twice in the Currie Cup - and with a wet and heavy field expected on Saturday, tactical kicking will play a vital role again.
"The Sharks beat as at the kicking game in our last three encounters. Our focus this week was on our kicking structures and set pieces," Fleck told Die Burger's website
"There's a perception that the Blue Bulls kick better than any other team, but they came second in that department against the Sharks last weekend.
"In the Super Rugby competition we didn't fare well compared to the Sharks' kicking. It's something we've talked about this week."
Sharks fullback Louis Ludik will be key here, with his ability in the air a key asset. He was also man-of-the-match when the Sharks beat WP 43-27 in Durban a few weeks ago. Fleck is also wary of Sharks flyhalf Patrick Lambie
. "He was brilliant last week against the Bulls. He dictated play and his decision making was at a different level," he said.
Therefore, a big test awaits the WP duo of fullback Gio Aplon and flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis...
Kick-off at Kings Park is at 17:00 on Saturday.Teams:Sharks:
15. Louis Ludik 14. JP Pietersen
13. Paul Jordaan12. Tim Whitehead 11. Lwazi Mvovo
10. Patrick Lambie
9. Cobus Reinach 8. Keegan Daniel
(captain) 7. Willem Alberts
6. Marcell Coetzee
5. Anton Bresler 4. Steven Sykes 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. Craig Burden 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Wiehahn Herbst 18. Jandre Marais 19. Jean Deysel 20. Charl McLeod 21. Meyer Bosman
22. Odwa NdunganeWestern Province:
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana
, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Don Armand, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth
, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Deon Carstens
, 17. Brok Harris
, 18. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19. Jebb Sinclair, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Marcel Brache, 22. Joe Pietersen