Vodacom WP ready for fierce onslaught
Vodacom Western Province have a chance to get back to winning ways when they take on the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Friday night in an Absa Currie Cup match.
Vodacom Western Province have a chance to get back to winning ways when they take on the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Friday night in an Absa Currie Cup match.

Province relinquished first spot on the points table when they suffered their first defeat last weekend against the Natal Sharks in Durban. Now they tackle a Cheetahs side that would be determined to emulate the Sharks and send WP crashing.

WP captain Anton van Zyl knows that his team face another stern test of their mettle. He said Province's play weren't up to scratch in quite a few areas in Durban.

"Quite a few areas went wrong, but a lot of it came down to unforced errors. The Sharks and Cheetahs packs are quality packs and if you're going to put pressure on yourself with unforced errors that just makes your task so much tougher.

"Teams in this competition don't let you get away with that. We were nowhere close to our standards and we got punished for that.

"This Friday has less to do with who we play and more about focusing on looking at how we play and putting things right."

Coach Allister Coetzee said they always knew the phase of the competition that they are in right now would be tough. The phase he refers to, started with a game against Griquas, followed by the Blue Bulls, Natal Sharks, Free State Cheetahs and the Lions.

"We had a bad day at the office, but we're not panicking after one loss. We put a lot of hard work in this season to be leading the league stage, but it's also a reality that you're not going to win all your games and this was a timeous kick under the butt for us to focus on our basics again.

"It's a matter of the side just having to refocus and pull together again, our plan is working, we just need to stick to it."

Looking to Friday's game, Coetzee said it was going to be another tough game. "They'll be a physical challenge for us. It is the time of the season when teams pick up injuries. We've been fortunate in terms of the depth that we're creating in terms of young players.

"To win six games on the trot... what's the panic? I'm comfortable with the depth we're creating at the union. On Saturday our youngsters learnt valuable lessons."

He added the Cheetahs never are an easy game. "They are also looking for a big win away from home. They'll always come prepared. We're expecting a tough game.

"We've done the job in Bloemfontein last time and I'm sure they'll come with the attitude that they want to put one over us in Cape Town. It'll be a big physical challenge."

Teams for Newlands:

Vodacom Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Frikkie Welsh, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Koster, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (capt), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Buhle Mxunyelwa, 18 JD Moller, 19 De Kock Steenkamp, 20 Pieter Myburgh, 21 Conrad Hoffman, 22 Lionel Cronje.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 WP Nel, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tertius Carse, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Riaan Smit.

Kick-off: 19.30.

Referee: Pro Legoete

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