Vodacom Western Province basically secured a semifinal spot in the Absa Currie Cup competition with Friday night's victory over Griquas at Newlands, but in the process paid a heavy price.
Prop Wicus Blaauw sustained a second-grade tear to his hamstring and will be sitting out the rest of the season. He could be on the injury list for up to six weeks.
Province now have to travel to Loftus in Pretoria for Saturday's game against the Blue Bulls without two of their front row stalwarts, as fiery hooker Tiaan Liebenberg already is out of the picture. JC Kritzinger could start on Saturday after replacing Blaauw at halftime on Friday, with JD Moller on the bench.
Coach Allister Coetzee said after Friday night's win it was mission accomplished. "It was actually a very good performance in the first 60 minutes of the game. I think the guys really achieved what we wanted to and we scored some brilliant tries.
"We were actually were very accurate again. If you look at the next three games, or next five games in the competition, it's going to be quite tough. You look at resting some of the players and getting them off and then suddenly you realise you are sitting with youngsters of 19 and you want them to call the shots.
"I know a lot of people are asking questions about why bring on the substitutions so early, but you can't have your cake and eat it. But I'm still proud of the players. I think they did a very good job.
"With the youngsters that we played you miss a lot of communication and organisation at this level, but its okay. They gained good experience. I'm still very proud of them for scoring the last try at the end.
"I think it is clear we wanted to get 15 points from the last 3 games. We got the 15 points. Going forward the next two games of the second round are going to be tough.
"It is going to be very hard, but we are looking forward to the challenge going to Loftus next weekend."
Coetzee said at this stage of the competition it was important to keep the players fresh. He was also happy with the way the midfield combination of Juan de Jongh and Jean de Villiers is developing.
"Jean showed his class - he is world class player, absolutely. The Boks are coming back and we are very happy with the way Jean and Juan have been combining over the last couple of days, also a player like Willem de Waal has been instrumental and he's played well.
"Dewaldt Duvenage has also played well and so did the rest of the backline. It's all about a pack that is really laying a solid foundation for us. That is want you want going to the Bulls next week, another solid display by our pack.
"Our captain (Anton van Zyl) played all the games this year and hopefully the break he got during the last 20, 25 minutes would help for next week. It is about keeping the players fresh.
"We have the Bulls and the Sharks in the last two games and then we are in the play-offs, so our goal is to make sure the players are fresh for the next few weeks."