Cape Town - There was double reason to celebrate for Western
Province head coach John Dobson on Monday after his team's 43-19 Currie Cup win
over Griquas at the weekend.
All players came through WP’s 2015 season-opener in
Kimberley unscathed - including hooker Bongi Mbonambi who was in doubt in the
lead-up to the match with a hamstring niggle.
Mbonambi played for 40 minutes on Friday, before being
replaced at half-time as a precaution.
“We didn’t want to
risk Bongi after half-time, as he would’ve been inactive for 10 minutes, but
the good thing is that we can most definitely get more game time out of him
this week as he is 100% fit,” Dobson told the WP Rugby website.
“It’s amazing to go to Kimberley and not come away with any
new injuries. At this stage, our only long-term injuries are (hooker) Mikey
Willemse and (flank) Josh Katzen.”
In some bad news on Monday, centre Johnny Kotze suffered a
knock to his head in the morning session. He should, according to Dobson, be
available for selection this weekend, but would need to pass a concussion test
Looking ahead to this weekend’s action, which sees Western
Province in action at Newlands against the Free State Cheetahs (15:00 kick-off),
Dobson is predicting a tough clash.
“Don’t read much into the Cheetahs’ heavy loss to the Blue
Bulls at the weekend, the scoreline (of 57-19) doesn’t reflect properly on the
match,” he said.
“I thought the Cheetahs started well, but then everything
fell into place for the Bulls… I felt for them (the Cheetahs). We’re expecting
a tough one against the Cheetahs and won’t take them lightly.”
Saturday will be Dobson’s first senior match in charge of a blue
and white hooped team at Newlands and he is looking forward to the occasion.
“My father (Paul), who is turning 80 this year, used to drag
me to Newlands as a kid in the late 1970s, so I think he’s pretty pleased!
“Seriously though, it’s a huge thing for me and I’m very
excited at the prospect. As the new (head) coach, I’m especially excited about
experiencing the full force of the faithful behind the team.”
WP’s Under-19 and Under-21 teams will also be in action
against the Free State Cheetahs’ junior sides at Newlands at 10:45 and 12:45 respectively.