DHL WP building for title defence

PUBLISHED: April 9, 2018

Preparations for DHL Western Province’s SuperSport Rugby Challenge title defence continue this week with a training camp in Hermanus.

Coach John Dobson’s team claimed a dramatic 37-35 win against Boland in a friendly match in Wellington on Friday, with two late tries seeing them snatch victory in the dying stages.

The friendly encounter gave the coaching staff a good chance to have a look at the depth available to them, with the Maties players involved in next week’s Varsity Cup Final missing from the squad.

Although they were facing a clearly motivated Boland team, the DHL Western Province XV showed impressive resolve to keep fighting to the final whistle and they were rewarded with a last-gasp win.

Dobson said that although his team had not played to their full potential, it was encouraging to see them get the result when under pressure.

“We did not play as well as we could have, but the team showed good character to pull off a win against a competitive Boland side.

“Our forwards were impressive, putting in a strong performance in the set-pieces and it was a good indication of our depth,” he said.

Another positive to come out of the friendly was that Springbok prop Frans Malherbe managed to get some game time, contributing to a few strong scrums at the end of the game as he continues to make his way back to full fitness following a serious neck injury.

This week the squad will travel to Hermanus for a camp as they finalise preparations for their SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign, which kicks off at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth against the EP Kings on Sunday, April 22.

Dobson’s charges will be looking to repeat their heroics from last year, which saw them go through the inaugural competition unbeaten to claim the title and will be further strengthened before the tournament kicks off by some Maties and fringe DHL Stormers players.