OLA

Schalk wants to erase bad semi memories
11/10/2010
Vodacom Western Province captain Schalk Burger has bad memories of Absa Currie Cup semi-finals at Newlands and he hopes on Saturday he will have better luck.
Vodacom Western Province captain Schalk Burger has bad memories of Absa Currie Cup semi-finals at Newlands and he hopes on Saturday he will have better luck.

Burger's team clinched a home semi against the Free State Cheetahs by beating the Natal Sharks in their final league fixture at Newlands. Burger on Saturday night after the game said he has not played in a final yet for WP.

"I have lost three Currie Cup semi-finals at Newlands. This will be my fourth. Last year against the Blue Bulls I was hoping it would be lucky number three, but it was not to be.

"The Cheetahs are always an interesting side. They have a great record in the Currie Cup, especially recently. We have great respect for them. It was a great result tonight, but like the coach said: the job is not done.

"We will have a few beers tonight and start again on Monday. I haven't been in a final yet for WP. That is something I want to achieve and the team want to achieve. It won't be easy, but we will give it our best shot."

The flank said settling back into the team was not much of a problem for the four returning Springboks - himself, centre Jacque Fourie, scrumhalf Ricky Januarie and wing Bryan Habana.

"We have been training with the side for the past two weeks. The system hasn't changed not much for the last year and a half, so it was pretty easy from that point of view.

"All of us were prety nervous, because we haven't played rugby and especially for such a crunch game at the hightest level. It was great fun though.

"All of us are not that good at training. We are probably much better at playing rugby. We had a fantastic crowd tonight."

Burger said the fact that Province played for a home semi and the Sharks already qualified for one probably gave them the edge in terms of hunger on Saturday.

"These games are always difficult, but maybe we were more desperate to win which made it a bit easier. This coming weekend is also a clean sheet for all the teams that are involved.

"We just need to keep our side clean to get to the final. We cannot worry about the Cheetahs, Sharks and Bulls - we just need to make sure we are in the final.

"The Sharks are a quality side. Any side that have a home semi before the last league game is one."

The leader of the pack was happy with the way the forwards turned their fortunes around from the first league meeting.

"It was an important one for us (the forwards). We spoke a lot about it during the week. It was a good performance, but I don't want to speak too much.

"Next weekend we have an equally good pack in the Cheetahs. They always have a fanstastic pack of forwards. On Monday there will be a few things that we point out that we need to improve on."



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