Currie Cup

WP wary of Sharks backline

2015-09-08 20:58
Lionel Cronje

Cape Town - The Sharks and Western Province go into this Saturday’s Currie Cup clash at Kings Park in similar boats.

Both sides are three from five this season and hanging onto their semi-final positions, but both sides are yet to perform at the level expected of them by their ardent supporters.

But while the Sharks are yet to find their rhythm this season, WP coach John Dobson has seen enough to know where they will be most threatening on Saturday.

“They’ve got a massive kicking game. They play no rugby in their own half. Literally, it’s one phase in their own half and the ball gets kicked,” he said this week.

“They’ve got really good chase lines. We know that they pose a threat with their little chips and dinks through. We know that Lionel Cronje is a good player … if we let a guy like (centre, Andre) Esterhuizen get momentum and then Lionel can play with a bit of space and make those little kicks then we’re going to be under pressure.”

Dobson also drew a thoughtful comparison between this Sharks side under Gary Gold and those of coaches past.

“It’s not a million miles from the Sharks team, in terms of that approach, that won the Currie Cup under Brendan Venter in 2013 and that Jake had,” said Dobson.

“It’s not the Sharks team of Plum’s era and Dick Muir’s era of playing what’s in front of you. We know that they come with a very big kicking game so we have to make some plans around that.

“Our feeling is that if they kick on us so much we know that we won’t be able to have a crack straight up. But if we get through a phase or two I think there are some opportunities for us.”

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.


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