Cape Town - If historic progression is anything to go by, then Western Province have nothing to worry about in keeping their 2011 Currie Cup campaign on track, despite losing their last two matches.
Although this year’s competition looks to be gifted to the unbeaten Lions, the assertive coaching staff down in the Cape is doing their homework at the High Performance Centre in preparation for what could be the biggest home game for Province this season.
According to team coach Alistair Coetzee, the team has looked at videos of their losses and accepted that they must learn lessons from their mistakes.
“We hate losing, but we must not make the same mistakes as we did against the Cheetahs and The Sharks,” said Coetzee.
Coetzee reiterated that his team needs to keep momentum and have to grow comfortable with each other.
“If we look at our opponents, we see they are comfortable with each other. We need to have the same work rate as the opposition as they are working hard and the team starts believing in themselves,” said Coetzee.
The last four years have yielded a history and paved a way that has shown vast improvement for the Cape based team year-upon-year.
In 2007, Province were eliminated from the Currie Cup competition before playing their last game. In 2008, their season ended after failing to secure a bonus point in their final match of the season which prevented them from entering a semi-final for a second successive season.
The 2009 season, however, saw a rejuvenated side with new and current coach Alistair Coetzee finally stepping into a senior coaching role.
The fairytale season saw Western Province occupy second position on the final log standings and host a home semi-final, however a rampant and experienced Blue Bulls team came out victorious on the day.
Last season, Western Province built on what was achieved in the previous year and carried the positive momentum forward. A self-assured Coetzee not only manifested huge growth and talent in his squad, but also reinstalled team confidence with the ‘Newlands faithful’ seeing record attendances throughout the season. The team managed to steer themselves to a final against the Sharks in Durban, and although they lost, a lot of positives were taken back to their training base.
Although the current standings place Province in fourth position behind the Lions, Sharks and Griquas, supporters might be forgiven for taking a bleak view of the situation.