Proudfoot wants improvement
15/07/2010
Vodacom Western Province assistant coach Matt Proudfoot expects a different challenge from the Xerox Lions when the teams meet in an Absa Currie Cup match at Newlands on Saturday.

Proudfoot's pack laid a solid foundation the past Saturday against the Cheetahs for a well-deserved Province victory. The forwards coach expects more of the same from his charges against the Lions at Newlands.
"I was happy with the pack. We went there in the knowledge the Cheetahs game plan revolves around a lot of pressure. Their plan is to suffocate and strangle and we tried to use it against them.
 
"It worked for us, but this week we will be up against a more experienced lineout contingent and we spend a lot of time (on the training field) on our own ball and also theirs."
 
Proudfoot said the goal is to have a combative pack in the Currie Cup. "So we are definitely going to be working hard on increasing the intensity for this week."
 
The former prop said it was too early to make statements about the ability of the pack yet, as there was still a lot of rugby to be played. "We can talk on the 31st October about that.
 
"There is so much rugby to be played in the Currie Cup. We did really well in the Super 14, but this is a new competition and we have got to do it all again. I am proud of the six guys I am working with playing in the front row now for what they have achieved.
 
"But losing in the final of the Super 14 is actually worse than finishing 14th. We know we could have finished first but didn't. It was so close yet so far and we don't want to get there again.
 
"We need to keep our feet firmly on the ground and try to improve on our performances every week."
 
Former All Black coach John Mitchell had a good start to his tenure as Lions coach when they trounced the Leopards last weekend. Proudfoot expects Mitchell to make a huge difference to the Lions.
 
"He will add a lot of confidence to them. He has a lot of international experience and knows a lot of different ways of doing things. The players will find that novel and interesting.
 
"But I always thought their pack was good in the Super 14. They were never dominated and scored a lot of tries in the pack. Their weakness in the Super 14 may have been their defence.
 
"Johan Ackerman is coaching their pack and he will prepare them with a lot of physicality. They play with a lot of intensity and I don't think Johan is going to change that about them."
 
Proudfoot proclaimed his satisfaction with the amount of talented forwards coming through the ranks at WP. "If you look at the amount of talented rugby players in the Western Cape it is frightening.
 
"We need to give the new guys in the side opportunities and it is great working with them. Throughout the Super 14 we have been looking for a fifth loosie and now we have found that in Rynardt Elstadt. That is fantastic and what the Currie Cup is about."


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