Cape Town - It is not quite panic stations yet, but Western Province desperately need to win Saturday evening’s Currie Cup clash against Griquas at Newlands.
Back-to-back losses away against the Blue Bulls and then the Free State Cheetahs mean that John Dobson’s charges have slipped down the log to fourth, 14 points off the pace of the Blue Bulls at the table’s summit, albeit having played one fewer match.
“If we don’t win this game then we’re in serious trouble. We can redeem ourselves over the next three weeks and be right back in it so it’s absolutely critical,” Dobson said.
Saturday evening will be about stopping the rot, and few would expect Province to slip up at home against a Griquas side that has lost all four of their fixtures so far this season and only one of those by less than seven points.
But Dobson is not taking anything for granted, and after having heaped praise of Griquas flank Hilton Lobberts this week the Province coach is expecting the unexpected from the visitors.
“They’ll throw everything at it. They’ve got this wide, wide game. They’re not playing percentages,” said Dobson.
“They’ve got nothing to lose and all they want to do is get into your 22 and then they’ll try with (Clinton) Swart and Carel Greeff to and bully us and be direct.”
The match kicks off at 17:05.
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Jaco Taute, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr (captain), 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. JP Smith, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Godlen Masimla, 21. Robert du Preez, 22. Dillyn Leyds
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Substitutes: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 19 Jonathan Adendorf, 20 Leon Karemaker, 21 Gouws Prinsloo, 22 Jacquin Jansen