Cape Town - Western Province coach John Dobson expects a much higher work-rate from his team in their Currie Cup clash with the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday (16:00 kick-off).
Following their disappointing 32-25 defeat to the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands last week, Dobson’s charges have focused on improving their intensity and their attacking shape, as they did not play with enough width against the Bloemfontein side.
“For some of the players their work rate was poor and we got very narrow on attack, because of poor work rate by some of the forwards,” Dobson told the WP Rugby website.
“We have been working on our attacking shape, and making sure we get a lot wider which will make us harder to defend,” said Dobson.
The Western Province coach has welcomed a number of players back into the fold this week, with the likes of Oli Kebble and Dan du Plessis returning from injury, whilst Olympic Sevens stars Cheslin Kolbe and Werner Kok are expected to challenge for places in the starting line-up.
“Obviously a guy like Cheslin Kolbe is fully integrated now, Oli Kebble is back from injury, Werner Kok is with us and Dan du Plessis is back from injury, so our playing roster is looking good.
“Nizaam Carr is another two weeks off full fitness, but otherwise we are OK,” said Dobson.
Dobson was impressed with the heart that the Eastern Province Kings showed in a 49-35 defeat to the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld last week, and acknowledged that his team will have to raise their intensity significantly if they are to earn their first victory of the Currie Cup Premier Division campaign.
“They play a chaos game - they are in your faces, they have got amazing energy. To go to Loftus and run like they ran, their GPS stats must have been staggering.
“A desperate team is always dangerous, it makes them run a bit harder and a bit faster. So suddenly this game has taken a more serious turn than it might have,” he said.
However, considering their disappointing start to the season, Dobson said that a win in Port Elizabeth is essential to keep his team’s hopes of a place in the semi-finals alive.
“We can’t take any chances, and we have to win every single game now to be sure of a playoff,” he added.