Currie Cup

Dobson: WP played ‘too much' rugby

2015-08-17 08:53
John Dobson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Western Province coach John Dobson was able to breathe a sigh of relief on Saturday night after his team's 9-3 win over the Free State Cheetahs in Currie Cup action at a wet and windy Newlands.

The hosts trailed by 3-0 at half-time, but three second-half penalties from Western Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis settled his team’s nerves - despite a late flurry of sorts from the visitors which nearly led to a match-winning score for them.

“I thought we dominated the match, but based on the amount of turnovers we conceded, we tried to play too much rugby in the (poor) weather conditions,” Dobson told the WP Rugby website.

“It was disappointing, as we would obviously like to play a better style of rugby than that, but we dominated territory and possession… and (yet) we ended up being a desperate Kurt Coleman dive away from losing the game because we tried too much.”

On a disappointing note for Western Province, influential skipper Juan de Jongh limped off in the 49th minute with what appeared to be a serious injury, with Dobson commenting: “Juan hurt his knee, which was obviously a blow to us. It’s not looking too flash but we will give an accurate update on Monday.”

As one would expect from a hard-fought match of this nature, Dobson found both positives and negatives in the WP performance.

“The breakdown was a frustration for us,” admitted the WP coach.

“Our maul was particularly disappointing - attacking-wise and defensively - so that’s something we certainly need to work on before the Bulls game. Our actual lineout was good, but we didn’t do much from it, so we need to fix that (our maul).

“The conditions were not good, but our total dominance was pleasing. It was, however, disappointing not to score a single try and it always about grinding out a win against a team that was, in many ways, the underdog side looking for the shock win.”

The Cheetahs had three players yellow carded in the match, a sure sign of the home team’s dominance, but WP were not able to take full advantage of things - despite being up by two men at one stage in the second half.

“You’re not going to get around the outside in conditions like that. If you break or kick ahead, the defence can catch up too quickly, so we knew - like I said - that we had to grind things out,” said Dobson.

“Sometimes an exercise like this is good in a way. The guys will know that we cannot go to Loftus with an attitude and performance like this, so perhaps it was a good wake-up call we needed without the pain of a loss.”

Western Province will take on the Blue Bulls in Pretoria next Saturday (kick-off 19:00).

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