Coetzee expects Leopards to be tough
22/07/2010
Vodacom Western Province coach Allister Coetzee doesn't agree with people who say his team merely have to pitch up at Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Friday night to collect five Absa Currie Cup points from the Leopards.
Vodacom Western Province coach Allister Coetzee doesn't agree with people who say his team merely have to pitch up at Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Friday night to collect five Absa Currie Cup points from the Leopards.

That is why he resisted the temptation to blood too many youngsters at this level this weekend. He has a healthy dose of respect for the opponents, who could be a tricky opponent once they smelled blood.

"The Leopards are tough to play away from home and that's the thinking behind the continuity of selection. We've got Lionel Cronje, Yaya Hartzenberg, JC Kritzinger and few younger players to give opportunities to.

"We'll never underestimate the Leopards as a side and we'd like to improve as a squad every time we play. Any side that plays Currie Cup you can't underestimate them."

Coetzee made no secret of the fact that he was going to rely on the ever-improving forwards again to lay the foundation for a solid performance. And he's keen to see what substitute loose-forward Hartzenberg has to offer

"The forwards have been the strength of our side up until now and I don't want to go away from the 5-2 split.

"First and foremost I want to sort out a blindside flanker. Yaya has played very well for the Under-21s. He's a great ball carrier and an explosive player with a bright future ahead of him at Province."

He added that they are trying to foster a winning culture at Western Province and that's why was important to bring in young players. "I'm also hoping that we'll be in a position to give players off the bench an opportunity to play.

"What's important is to go there and keep improving as a group of players. Our kicking game in particular has been excellent. We rant and rave about our defence but it's a collective thing.

"We put our opponents there with our kicking game and that makes it easier to defend. The only area we want to improve is on our attack. We created enough opportunities to score and that's the focus to make sure that we are more responsible with the ball in hand."

The former Eastern Province coach said he doesn't expect the Leopards to hand Province a victory on a silver platter. "One of the legacies of the (football) World Cup is that we're playing on lush green fields.

"Most of the teams when they play against Province they really lift it a notch or two, we can be sure the Leopards will come out firing. It wasn't nice to hear the Falcons coach a couple of years ago say they had a terrible season, but they beat Province. Our preparation this week has gone very well."



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