Coach John Dobson has identified some considerable concerns after Western Province’s unconvincing performance against the EP Kings in a pre-season friendly.
WP suffered a defeat in their first Currie Cup warm-up game against the Pumas on 18 July, although Dobson fielded a largely second-string side for that encounter.
However, a full-strength side, which featured Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh in the midfield, only managed to scrape to a 21-18 win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
‘The Kings are not world-beaters, and to only win by three points with our strongest team on paper means that there are areas we are worried about,’ Dobson told the Cape Argus.
Dobson said there were concerns with the attack and defence, while he also lamented the number of turnovers that had been conceded in both warm-up games.
‘The guys were all keen, but if you looked at their GPS stats afterwards, their work ethic was lacking [on Saturday]. We weren’t cleaning enough, getting off the ground fast enough on defence, and we weren’t setting our defence as quickly as we should.
‘Those are all telltale signs of a team that’s not really into the game. It’s all about how [quickly] the players get off the ground and return to play.’
Province will open their Currie Cup campaign against Griquas in Kimberley on 7 August.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images