It has undoubtedly been a very tough Absa Currie Cup campaign for DHL WP. Throughout the season the coaching staff has been forced to deal with constant disruption through loss of personnel and this has affected the balance of the side.
Nevertheless with one game left in the league portion of the season, DHL WP know that a bonus-point victory will secure their spot in the top four this season. Forwards coach Mathew Proudfoot has been impressed by the teams resolve despite all the setbacks they have suffered in 2011. He said: “I think we are fighting really hard. It has been a new team this season and with all the injuries we have had to make regular changes, which have affected our consistency. We are getting a lot of players back this week so hopefully it will help us get on a bit of an upwards curve.”
Besides the return of some of the players who have been out through injury, the unfortunate exit of the Springboks from the World Cup has meant an early return to domestic action for the Province internationals. Proudfoot feels it is a massive boost for the team to get some of these experienced heads back in the squad.
He said: “We are hopeful to have Dewaldt Duvenage, Johann Sadie and Tim Whitehead back this week from injury. Hopefully we will also have the Springboks back in the squad which should add fantastic energy and excitement in the group, so that is very encouraging for us as we go into the business end of the season.”
This week the Province boys have been taking the game to the people by having back-to-back training sessions in Kraaifontein and Caledon on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Speaking after Tuesday’s session, Proudfoot was thankful for the opportunity to get out into the community and to meet the faithful WP fans.
“It is always good to get amongst the community and to see the support that the fans have for the blue and white hoops. You could just hear the kids saying ‘there is Sadie’, ‘there is Tiaan’ and ‘there is Brokkie’ and from their point of view those are their idols. To get amongst them is a privilege and an honour and it was thoroughly enjoyable.”
The last hurdle in this year’s league campaign is this Saturday against the Pumas at DHL Newlands. Whilst the visitors are not in the semifinal running, Mathew reckons they will be desperate to end the season on a high. “They will be pushing for a win to end their season well. We also need the win obviously to book our semifinal spot so I expect a do or die attitude from both sides. They pushed the Cheetahs all the way last week, so we are expecting a very physical contest. We are going to have to counter that physicality if we want to get the desired results.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at DHL Newlands at 17:05 and tickets are still available from Computicket.