Van Zyl says win is vital
Vodacom Western Province captain Anton van Zyl says it is of vital importance that his side gets back to winning ways when they tackle the Leopards at Newlands on Saturday.
Vodacom Western Province captain Anton van Zyl says it is of vital importance that his side gets back to winning ways when they tackle the Leopards at Newlands on Saturday.

WP started off their Absa Currie Cup campaign like a house on fire, winning games on the trot and hogging top spot on the log for a considerable period of time. Then a disastrous three weeks followed in which they conceded first place to the Natal Sharks and also suffered defeats to the Free State Cheetahs and the Lions.

Now the players are keen to get their campaign back on track.

Van Zyl said: "We said it at the beginning of the season, even during the six unbeaten weeks, for us the most important game is the one coming up and that counts even more after three losses.

"It's vital that we get back to winning ways, that we get our confidence back and get going in the right direction again. There's no point us worrying about the other teams and what they're doing.

"We've got to make sure that come the business end we're right at the top."

He said the returning Springboks - Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh - Boks brought a fresh injection of energy and enthusiasm when they reported for duty on Monday.

"From the minute the three of them arrived on Monday they brought a level of energy and enthusiasm and a level of professionalism too. They've slotted straight into the plays and moves without missing a beat, and it's great to have these three great team men as part of the squad."

Coach Allister Coetzee said they will not make the mistake of underestimating the Leopards, even though they are bottom of the log.

"We've always had respect for the opposition and we won't make the mistake of disrespecting the Leopards. They've got everything to gain and nothing to lose, so they'll be a dangerous side looking to get their first win under the belt.

"We just got to make sure that we don't worry too much about them and focus on what we want to achieve, get the win and get our confidence up."

Coetzee said although they have lost three in a row there were positives from those games. "I said in the beginning there were long term goals. Youngsters needed some opportunities, and they got opportunities against top sides and we learnt some lessons.

"I am very positive though that if we come with our A game on Saturday and play well, the confidence levels will be up again with the Boks back. Then we can focus on the next game. But we are definitely not underestimating the Leopards this weekend."

Teams for Newlands:
Vodacom Western Province: 15 Conrad Hoffmann, 14 Conrad Jantjes, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Koster, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (captain), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 JC Kritzinger, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 JD Moller.

Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Brok Harris, 19 De Kock Steenkamp, 20 Yaya Hartzenberg, 21 Willem De Waal, 22 Paul Bosch. Leopards: 15 Danie Dames, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Jovan Bowles, 12 Cecil Dumond, 11 Dumisani Matyeshana, 10 Clayton Durand, 9 Theo van Wyk, 8 Riaan Swanepoel, 7 Reginald Kember, 6 Wilhelm Koch (captain), 5 Brad Mockford, 4 Anthonie Gronum, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 1 Bennie Uys.

Replacements: 16 Gavin Williamson, 17 Barend van der Walt, 18 Edrich Linde, 19 Christo van Niekerk, 20 Divan Kotze, 21 Neill Jacobs, 22 Cornelius Rautenbach. Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00)
Referee: Sindile Mayende

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