Proudfoot calls for calm
06/10/2010
Vodacom Western Province forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot does not prescribe to the mood of doom and gloom after the side's loss to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
Vodacom Western Province forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot does not prescribe to the mood of doom and gloom after the side's loss to the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Proudfoot is confident that Province will get it right when they take on the Natal Sharks at Newlands in Saturday in an Absa Currie Cup match that will determine whether they will be hosting a sem-final or have to travel for an away semi.

He admitted that the players were disappointed after squandering a 16-3 lead to eventually go down 36-32. "The guys were disappointed after Saturday, and it took a stern talking to from (head coach) Allister (Coetzee) to set the mood right this week.

"What people must realise is that this is a very tough competition. It means so much to each of the teams and they'll fight tooth and nail to win.

"We lost two of those games that we should have won - on Saturday we were 16-3 up against the Bulls at Loftus, and we were also up against the Lions before we committed all those mistakes.

"I think too much has been made of the results, our error count has just been too high.

"There's nothing we can do about lost opportunities, we have to work for this Saturday. We know it's like a quarterfinal."

Proudfoot believes too much has been made of recent results. He also believes WP are in a position of strength for this game.

"If you'd told me at the end of the first round that we would secure a semi-final with one game to go, and that we could get a home semi if we won that game, I would have taken it."

The Province squad and management team are acutely aware of what is at stake - a home semi and then possibly a home final. The focus will be there.

Proudfoot pleaded with those criticizing so easily to rein in their horses just a wee bit. "We're about to reach our third semi-final in 18 months.

"That doesn't just happen - we've earned that right. Yes, we have to learn how to convert semifinals and finals into victory, but you can't question our mental fortitude.

Creating a winning culture and a winning team doesn't happen in one competition."

The return of the contracted Springboks from their conditioning program will no doubt boost the home side. The former Scotland international was confident that flanker Schalk Burger, wing Bryan Habana, centre Jaque Fourie and scrumhalf Ricky Januarie will bolster Province, despite a month-long break from rugby.



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