We opted for a quieter week this week to allow our athletes a little down time, keeping them away from the hype of securing a second 2010 final. We need to travel to Durban with a physically and mentally fresh squad to contest what will be a very tough final. As coaching staff we have used the time to do our homework with regards to in-depth technical analysis to ensure we are as ready as we can be. The players return today for a couple of sessions but the real on-field and mental preparation will begin on Monday.
A final is just that – a final one off chance to prove you are the best. Beating the Sharks at Newlands last time was nice, but it’s a new game and it’s in the Tank. It’s totally different and we all know it. The team that handles the pressure, takes their opportunities and wants it more, will run out the winners.
The Sharks are a very good side with few chinks in their armour. They have a big, physical pack and are very competitive at the tackle and breakdown. They have good set pieces and have backs that thrive off momentum and quality go-forward ball. We will certainly have to take another step up to beat them in Durban. That said, this Province side has come a long way. There strength is their ability to play as a team. Mentally having been through a Super Rugby final they have grown. They are hungry, certainly more savvy and in my opinion ready. Our defensive systems have been good this year and we continue to work on them. Our pack has mixed it with the best. Offensively we have some experienced and talented runners and we will look to use them when it’s on. It all comes down to that one game and who takes their chances.
It’s not just the senior team contesting a final next week. Our U19’s and U21’s both also have the honour. Our youth development structures and policies have formed a core part of our strategy and it is great to see that they are starting to deliver results at all age group levels. Rugby is alive and well in this Province. It’s time to finish the job!
Thanks for all your support and messages of encouragement – you are what makes this Province great.