At points this season it has felt that everything has been against DHL Western Province. Almost without fail, after every game this campaign the coaching staff has had to deal with major injuries leaving them sourcing players from the U21 side and the club rugby structures.
It was therefore incredibly satisfying for coach Allister Coetzee, when his young side overcame a Sharks side brimming with Springboks in. Following the 15-10 victory in Durban, Coetzee praised his side for their performance , which once again highlighted the incredible character of the team.
“This was a special win for the side. To come up to Durban and win against a team with far more experience, it is highly impressive. The players once again showed their fight and heart, particularly as we had to overcome an early injury to Heinrich Steyl who broke his leg. We fought to the end and it keeps up alive in the competition.
“I think we did well to not give too many turnovers away. We started much better than we have over the last few weeks and our defense was outstanding. The pack played well and our set pieces were very good. In the end it was a disciplined performance and a fantastic victory for the guys.”
Unfortunately the injury curse hit again with Heinrich Steyl and Dewaldt Duvenage both struck down during the game. Whilst Steyl broke his leg and is out for the rest of the season, Duvenage will be assessed this week before a decision is made on his availability for the next game.
That game is against the table-topping Lions and Coetzee knows it is yet another huge challenge for his young side. He said: “It is not easier next week, but we have two games left and we need to look to win both. It is a big challenge, but what is great is that we have destiny in our own hands.”
Province should be able to welcome back Nic Groom and Demitri Catrakilis as they begin prep for another big week in the 2011 Absa Currie Cup.
The Sharks - Try: Jean Deysel. Conversion: Meyer Bosman. Penalty: Freddie Michalak.
DHL Western Province - Tries: Danie Poolman, Dewaldt Duvenhage. Conversion: Lionel Cronje. Penalty: Duvenhage.