Western Province captain Siya Kolisi says his side needs to start showing more maturity after their second successive Currie Cup loss on Saturday evening.
The Lions snatched a 22-19 win over Province at Ellis Park thanks to a penalty after the fulltime hooter from fullback Tiaan Swanepoel.
This came after Western Province had taken a 19-9 lead with just over 15 minutes to go, before a combination of Swanepoel’s boot and a try from wing Stean Pienaar brought the Lions back into the game.
It was Province’s second loss in a row, but it was also the second straight game they had lost in the final five minutes, after conceding a late try to lose to a 14-man Vodacom Bulls side at Newlands.
Speaking to the media in an online press conference after the game, Kolisi expressed his frustration with the way in which Province had lost control of the match after appearing to be in some form of control during the second half.
‘It’s horrible,’ Kolisi said. ‘I can’t put it in words because you work so hard for 60 or 70 minutes and then small things, like getting off the plan. We had a plan and then as soon as we stepped off the plan, that’s where they took advantage.
‘We also worked so hard to get in their 22 or get opportunities, but then we didn’t take them. Then it’s a mistake or a knock-on after that so we didn’t really get momentum.
‘Even though we didn’t play as well as we wanted to, we were still in control. We were leading 19-9. That doesn’t happen often and then you throw it away like that. That honestly breaks you.
‘We have another game next week where we are going to have to pick ourselves up and keep going. But it’s really horrible losing like that two weeks in a row.’
Province’s hopes of hosting a Currie Cup playoff to give their beloved Newlands a fitting farewell have become tougher as they trail the first-placed Bulls by 11 points, while the second-placed Sharks are three points ahead with a game in hand after having a bye this weekend. The Lions, meanwhile, are hot on Province’s tail as the win lifted them into fourth place and one point behind the Cape side.
Kolisi, however, is still confident that they can secure a home semi-final, but added that Province are going have to start showing more maturity in their performances if they are to turn their form around.
‘I don’t doubt that at all, not even a little bit. It’s hard because mistakes are made and you actually don’t know where you are going wrong until you go back to the plan and look at what you should have done. I think it is all stuff that we can fix. A knock-on, individual error, offloading when you shouldn’t offload, that’s an individual error. Those are all things that we can fix.
‘When we stick to the plan, it is working. So I have no doubt that we can fix it. But we are going to have to be a bit more mature. I think we get bored a bit and want to try things. I think we can be a bit more mature. Us as a senior group have to drive that a little bit more. On the field, out there, we have to make sure that we are leading a bit more. We don’t have a lot of senior players in the backs, so myself, [Steven] Kitshoff and Frans [Malherbe] have to make sure that we are helping out as much as we can.
‘Come next week, I can’t be saying the same thing. We have an important game against the Pumas at Newlands so I am looking forward to that. I have no doubt that we can pull this together.’
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images