Injuries have 'helped' WP

2011-09-21 09:07

Cape Town - Western Province forward coach Matt Proudfoot believes their injury woes this season might actually have enhanced their fortunes.

Seventeen players have missed some or all of WP's Currie Cup games this season.

Despite all the injuries, Province are second on the log with four round-robin games remaining, and Proudfoot believes the young guys who have stepped up into the injured players' shoes have played a big part in their success.

"Our season has been characterised by players getting chances and taking them," Proudfoot told Die Burger newspaper.

"Even though it is big setbacks for the (injured) individuals, it's good for the team, because it makes the players hungry and creates healthy internal contests.

"Despite all the injuries, the morale of the team is brilliant."

Proudfoot believes this was the reason why flyhalf Lionel Cronjé decided to leave the union and sign with the Bulls Bulls. "As a coach I have only the highest of regard for players who make sound decisions about their future. Lionel saw how well Gary van Aswegen, Kurt Coleman and Demetri Catrakilis used their chances."

With Peter Grant also returning for Super Rugby duty next season, Cronjé probably realised he would struggle for game time.

"He took a responsible decision about his future and deserves credit for that. But because of Isma-eel Dollie's injury, Lionel will now get his chance in the WP team over the next few weeks and perhaps be part of something special at the end," said Proudfoot.

Province take on the Free State Cheetahs in a crucial Currie Cup clash at Newlands on Saturday.

The following players have missed Currie Cup games due to injury this season:

Duane Vermeulen (captain), Gary van Aswegen, Lionel Cronjé, Kurt Coleman, Wicus Blaauw, Steven Kitshoff, Isma-eel Dollie, Pieter Louw, Adriaan Fondse, Nic Groom, Tim Whitehead, Demetri Catrakilis, Siya Kolisi, Steven Hunt, JC Kritzinger, De Kock Steenkamp and Deon Fourie.


  • Currie Cup Rugby - 2011-09-21 10:23

    Andries Bekker as well (assuming he wasn't on Bok duty).

      Oukoos - 2011-09-21 11:13

      And Rynhardt Elstadt

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-21 12:01

      Not to mention all the players pulled out for Springbok duty!

  • jk - 2011-09-21 10:29

    we will just grow into a more pwerfull unit and still remain as the biggest and most powerfull rugby union in world rugby!!!!!!!!PROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVINCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Zip23 - 2011-09-21 10:40

      biggest and most powerfull? Funny.

      jk - 2011-09-21 11:38

      its true!

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-21 13:55

      jk big dreamers never sleep... tell me, do you suffer from insomnia?

      Koos - 2011-09-21 13:57

      Tik en papsak is n lelike ding! Jy droom alweer

      jk - 2011-09-21 14:51

      RAVEN- jy skuld my nog geld vir daai laaste sak wyn...

  • Oukoos - 2011-09-21 10:45

    "With Peter Grant also returning for Super Rugby duty next season, Cronjé probably realised he would struggle for game time" So, die outjie het skynbaar 'n selfvertroue probleem. Eerstens glo hy dat hy nie Peter Grant as die nommer 1 keuse kan lig nie Tweedens glo hy dat hy nie met Demetri Catrakilis en gary van Aswegen as tweede keuse kan meeding nie Wel ek het nuus vir hom. Met Mornê as die Blou Bulle se #1 losskakel, gaan hy ook maar min speeltyd kry. Ek hoop vir die Blou Bulle se onthalwe dat sy gebrek aan selfvertroue vorentoe gaan regkom, maar ek het 'n vermoede dat die Blou Bulle hulle hier 'n kat in die sak gekoop het. Hulle moes eerder Gary of Demitri probeer koop het (of het hulle probeer en is 'n toffie gewys deur dié twee jong manne?)

      Gert - 2011-09-21 12:35

      Wat losskakel betref stem ek saam met jou. Catrakilis en Van Aswegen is beslis in 'n ander klas en so ook Coleman. Sy kans om hulle te lig is bykans nul. Ek is meer bekommerd oor die heelagter posisie want Conrad begin vinnig oud word. Ek het Lionel eerder as die toekomstige WP heelagter gesien waar afgesien van Geo (wat ook al begin oud word) nie niemand is wat werklik die oog vang nie.

      Northern Stormer - 2011-09-22 05:57

      @Gert - Ons koop net Jurgen Visser terug want Floptus wil volhard bet bokbek Kirchner !!!

  • Justin Schon - 2011-09-21 11:04

    Impressed! That any province player can replace another and still keep the team spirit! WP should keep a rotation policy going even when they all come back. We'll ensure fit and fresh players every week with the same game plan understood by all players who are in the team. No need to rely on 3 or 4 players. Considering the Bok back line is WP too!

  • Hansie - 2011-09-21 11:08

    I am huge WP supporter, but I must admit that all these injuries p...........s me off. Allistair Coetzee and his assistants have up to now done an excellent job. I wonder where some of the other teams (Sharks, Cheetahs) would've been with so many injuries. The Bulls got a new coach and are starting to play very good rugby. I really hope WP can hang on to a top 4 spot. That would be great. I'm just wondering.......... WP are basically playing a Vodacom/U21 team here. Why is it then that WP can't even make the Vodacom semi's, but are still very much in the running for the CC. Coach maybe?????

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 13:02

      Hansie - the Vodacom Cup team was pretty good this year. The Tuesday before the teams semi-final against the Sharks at Newlands, Katrikilis was called up to the Vodacom Cup team for his FIRST game as Kurt Coleman has been pulled for the Stormers bench against the Saders the same day. John Dobson (Vodacom Cup coach) mentioned before that it could be disruptive. And it was - Demetri did not have the best debut for the Vodacom cup team that day....missing kicks etc etc - and that was crucial. Now once again poor John Dobson (who is the U/21 coach as well) has had to watch 2/3rds of his team be pulled up into the Currie Cup team.........AND the U/19 team has also suffered as a result, because these chaps are now playing U/21. The injuries this year have been freakish - and one hopes next year will be better.

      Hansie - 2011-09-21 13:31

      Fair enough Saffa, but the AC also had disruptions. Anyway, I really do hope that these WP youngsters pull through to the CC semifinals. I just hope they stay here and don't follow Sadie, Engelbrecht and now Cronje. I'm actually glad that Cronje is going.

      jk - 2011-09-21 14:54

      saffa- listhen to yourself...the fact that our vodacom team was good enough, but didnt get any further than the last 10 years is suger coating it...its just not good enough for a union as big & powerfull as wp rugby...

      Oukoos - 2011-09-21 16:00

      @JK, 100% in agreement with your remark. May be a new Vodacom coach is required or may be the problem is the team selection. There is a huge problem, but what?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 16:58

      @jk and oukoos - we only got a new Vodacom Cup coach this year....John Dobson. (He coached Ikeys before that)

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 17:07

      @jk and oukoos - yes it isn't good enough for a union our size and with our pedigree BUT: both of you have to admit that it has taken since 2008 just to get our structures in place. We were a woeful disgrace of a professional union before that - end of. Things are only starting to kick-in now in terms of our junior ranks TRULY slotting directly into the senior ranks without any hassles. 3 Years ago our reserve stocks were NOWHERE, we had the senior contracted players (the stars) and then sweet bugger all behind them, which meant we were never going to be competitive at Vodacom Cup (while S14 was on the go) - how could we, we had a bunch of ragtag contracted assasins, NOT a squad of professionals. Rassie coached the U/21's last year, and most of those stepped straight into Vodacom Cup this year. We also have U/19's ready to step up to the next level, so for the 1st time in a while, we have a SQUAD of professionals - and dear stars we should win something soon (at senior level) - we win enough at U/19 and U/21 level.

  • Baylion - 2011-09-21 11:20

    Pity WP's defence has started to fall apart. They let in 11 tries in the last 3 games compared to 8 during the previous 7. This could cost them during this final stretch, especially against the Cheetahs and Lions

      Oukoos - 2011-09-21 12:28

      May be you should look at the tries scored as well (the net try count). I do not have the stats, but it should be interesting.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-21 13:06

      @Baylion - defence has suffered for 2 reasons. 1) Jaque Nienaber is with the Boks 2) With all the injuries and different starting 15 each week, the defensive system we use, which is SO dependent on work rate and being in "synch" has NOT been as efficient as it could be. Nienaber's defensive system is takes time to perfect (as per the Boks) and players stepping up to the senior team have struggled at times to slot into the defensive system with ease.

  • Paul Petersen - 2011-09-21 11:52

    They must just try and keep all our best players in the Cape and maybe fill up where we need to strenghten our team. Go Provinceeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Paul P

  • richard - 2011-09-21 12:41

    What concerns me is that Province Rugby, is loosing good young up andcoming players like the Sadie's and Engelbrecht's to other Franchises - Blue Bulls. What are the hierarchy doing to keep youngsters like that? We lost 2 stars and who is going to replace them?

      my_story - 2011-09-21 14:49

      Richard, perhaps we should be asking who didn't leave because management convinced them not to go? I agree Sadie is a great loss. JDJ and Sadie linked sublimely against the Blues and we are starved for exciting attacking rugby with the Stormers.

  • sportyct - 2011-09-21 17:01

    ..maybe we must investigate why all the injuries...Are our guys not conditioned properly..? Our playing ability and the coach might bring quality to a side, but if the players haven't got the physical toughness to last the season then in the end it can cost us the Cup... and what about the cost of material for extra players' gear?

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