Vodacom Western Province began the 2010 ABSA Currie Cup on the back of a historic Super 14 campaign, which saw them narrowly miss out to the Vodacom Blue Bulls at the final in Soweto.
With several of Province’s stars being called up to the Springbok squad, Allister Coetzee had his work cut out to match the lofty heights his team reached during the first half of the year. However under the leadership of senior players such as Willem De Waal, Tiaan Liebenberg and new captain Anton Van Zyl the team started off in dominant fashion.
Following impressive victories in the first two weeks away to the Free State Cheetahs and at home to the Lions (whom the team held scoreless) the team continued on an unbeaten run that included 50 point victories over the Pumas and Griquas as well as a hard fought win over fierce rivals the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Newlands.
Riding high at the top of the table, coach Coetzee took his team to Durban aiming to end the first half of the season with a 100% record. The Sharks though had other ideas and put up a clinical performance to inflict our boys first loss of the season. This defeat proved to be an unfortunate turning point in the team’s campaign with Province two more disappointing defeats against the Cheetahs and the Lions – two teams who were emphatically beaten in the first round.
The return of several of Province’s Bok contingent sparked the team back into life with the team putting 50+ against the Leopards and Pumas in their following two games. Province recorded another emphatic win over Griquas before making a trip to Loftus at face the Blue Bulls.
In a topsy-turvy clash, Province were unlucky to come out 36-32 losers after dominating most of the encounter. The result meant that only victory over the Sharks at Newlands would do if Vodacom WP were to host a semifinal. With Boks Bryan Habana, Jaque Fourie, Ricky January and captain Schalk Burger back, the boys put in a sumptuous performance to run out convincing winners and book a home semi against the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs.
Having suffered their only home defeat of the season to the boys from Bloem, Province ensured there would be no repeat of this blip by putting in a near perfect performance to run out comfortable 31-7 winners. The victory saw the team book their first Currie Cup final in nine years.
The stakes could not be higher with Province having to travel to Durban to face the table-topping Sharks, but with the experience of the Super 14 final behind them and the momentum built in the last few weeks of the competition this could well be the year that our boys end their domestic drought and bring glory back to the Newlands faithful...bring on next Saturday!
Check out some of the pictures of Vodacom WP in action throughout the season by CLICKING HERE
WP jou lekker ding!