A sombre John Dobson and Siya Kolisi said they were left devastated by Western Province’s performance in their Currie Cup semi-final loss to the Sharks on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Western Province suffered a 19-9 loss to the Sharks to get knocked out of the Currie Cup in the semi-finals in what will almost certainly be the team’s last game at Newlands.
Province are expected to have completed a move to Cape Town stadium once the Rainbow Cup gets underway in April, which made Saturday’s semi-final even more significant for the team.
Despite dominating both possession and territory for large parts of the contest, Province struggled to capitalise and lacked any rhythm in their attack, while their opponents scored when it mattered to come away with the victory.
Over and above the disappointment in the loss, Province coach Dobson said in the post-match press conference that the team let themselves down with their performance.
‘I would say it feels more than disappointment, it’s almost devastation,’ Dobson said.
‘It was such an important game for us and I think we let ourselves down in the second half. This is not how we wanted to finish at Newlands and we are more than disappointed. It’s very sad.
‘In the first half they defended or mauls very well, credit to them,’ Dobson added. ‘I thought we lacked a bit of accuracy and should have got more reward from our dominance. Our discipline was poor in the second half and we didn’t defend the Sharks’ mauls that well. It wasn’t a great game of rugby.’
Province captain Siya Kolisi echoed his coach’s thoughts as he also tried to explain his emotions in the immediate aftermath of the clash.
‘It’s a horrible feeling,’ Kolisi explained. ‘With the build-up that we had, only to perform like that, we only have ourselves to blame. There was no rhythm [in Province’s attack] at all, we couldn’t get going. They won all the small battles. It’s tough to pinpoint one thing. When they had opportunities, the took them. We were camped in their 22 and couldn’t score.’
Kolisi, though, made no excuses for Province’s performance.
‘It really is the worst feeling ever, but the way it happened makes it even worse,’ Kolisi added.
‘It’s really not the way we trained and spoke about the match this week. It’s horrible. We were well prepared but we didn’t deliver when it mattered.’
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images