Western Province coach John Dobson says his side must stop the Sharks’ momentum if they are to stand a chance of beating them at Newlands on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
In a top-of-the-table clash, Province host a Springbok-laden Sharks side in Cape Town, with the winner likely to finish top of the standings with only one game remaining for both sides.
Province have been able to welcome centre Ruhan Nel back to the fold after he was briefly called up to the Springbok squad.
‘That was a nice moment after the game [against Griquas last week],’ Dobson said of Nel’s call-up. ‘We were in the change room and the news came through that he had been called up. You just see the sheer joy on everybody’s faces and the guys started singing.
‘He [Nel] is a big driver of the team in terms of work ethic. You simply cannot lie on the ground in sevens. We have not spoken much with him since he has been back about what he has learned. I have no doubt he will be capped for South Africa in the next while.’
Dobson expects the Sharks to rely on their experienced pack to give them momentum in the match.
‘They are quite a hard team to work out. Sometimes you see them almost freestyling with the offloads and other times you see them playing as a territory-based team.
‘We have no question that they are a momentum-based team. It is a cliche but we know that guys like Dan du Preez, Coenie [Oosthuizen] and Thomas [du Toit] are dangerous ball-carriers and if they get go-forward, we will be under pressure. We have stressed this week about stopping this momentum.
‘We have two Springboks starting while they have nine so it is a nice challenge for us,’ Dobson added. ‘There is a feeling in the squad that we cannot wait for this game.’
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