Cape Town - They held on to win the game in the end, but Western Province coach John Dobson was far from happy with what he saw as his side beat the EP Kings 21-18 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday night.
It may have only been a pre-season friendly, but Dobson had fielded a strong side as preparations for this year's Currie Cup continued.
Province boasted a star-studded backline and the players in their starting lineup that had been a part of the Stormers' Super Rugby season included Cheslin Kolbe, Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh, Seabelo Senatla, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom, Nizaam Carr, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Bongi Mbonambi and Ali Vermaak.
But Dobson was far from happy with what he saw from his "bigger names".
"Disappointed in our performance," Dobson said after the match.
"We must be careful about being complacent and thinking because you're Super Rugby Conference champions it will just happen naturally.
"I think some of our bigger name players lacked work ethic out there today."
Dobson bemoaned his side's defensive work, but would not take anything away from what was a spirited Kings performance
"The Kings were very impressive," he said.
"I think our biggest issue was defence, I think we let too many line breaks through. Our big thing was to try and keep the ball, but our ball security was also poor.
"But the Kings never stopped. They seem to be more organised and they put a lot more pressure on than they did last year. I know they're kicking a bit more than they did last year under Carlos (Spencer), but I think they won the kicking battle against us today.
"I think they have a bit of work to do on their lineout area, but they have real spirit If those guys turn up and play with that pride then I think there's something brewing here."
WP begin their Currie Cup campaign with a trip to Griquas on August 7 while the EP Kings host the Golden Lions on August 8.