Currie Cup

WP, Blue Bulls set for 'critical' clash

2017-09-26 09:19
John Dobson (Gallo)

Cape Town - This Sunday's Currie Cup clash between the Blue Bulls and Western Province at Loftus is set to have a major say in the play-off race. 

For the Bulls, the situation is getting desperate. 

John Mitchell's charges, who went down 18-5 to the Sharks in Durban this past weekend, are second-bottom on the tournament log with 20 points and just three wins from nine matches. 

Province, meanwhile, are on 27 points in third place, having also played nine. 

With just three rounds of fixtures remaining for both unions, there is no room left for mistakes. 

And while the Bulls simply must win to keep their play-off hopes alive, the match is also a big one for WP, who are yet to win away from home in 2017. 

"There is no doubt it's crucial. If we win against the Bulls, which is where all our focus is on now, then we get a semi-final," WP coach John Dobson said after his side's 55-27 triumph against Griquas on Saturday.

"Then, after that, it becomes about where it is played."

Dobson was pleased with most aspects of the Griquas win, but he acknowledged that there were a couple of important areas where his side needed to improve.

"Our discipline was poor and it is definitely a massive work-on for this team," he said.

"We've also got to improve our exits. I think you saw that with their last try ... we got a scrum on the right and it was probably the wrong exit and they scored from that lineout."

Still, the coach is optimistic ahead of the trip to Pretoria despite Province's woeful record away from home this year.

"This is a critical game for us and we haven't had a win on the road, but I do think that the way this team is playing and evolving and on a field like Loftus with a lot of space and the way the Bulls play, it will suit us. So I'm quite excited about it," he said.

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Fixtures
Friday, 17 August 2018
iCOLLEGE Pumas v Tafel Lager Griquas, Mbombela Stadium 17:00
Free State XV v Blue Bulls, Toyota Stadium 19:00
Friday, 24 August 2018
Xerox Golden Lions XV v Tafel Lager Griquas, Emirates Airline Park 19:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Cell C Sharks XV v Blue Bulls, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 15:00
Western Province v Free State XV, Cape Town 17:15
Friday, 31 August 2018
iCOLLEGE Pumas v Western Province, Mbombela Stadium 19:00
Saturday, 01 September 2018
Blue Bulls v Xerox Golden Lions XV, Loftus Versfeld 15:00
Free State XV v Cell C Sharks XV, Toyota Stadium 17:15
Friday, 07 September 2018
Cell C Sharks XV v iCOLLEGE Pumas, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 19:00
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