DHL WP’s perfect season

PUBLISHED: July 17, 2017

DHL Western Province won all 11 of their SuperSport Rugby Challenge matches this season to claim the inaugural title.

Coach John Dobson’s unbeaten team lifted the trophy in front of a packed crowd at Florida Park in Ravensmead on Sunday, after beating the Tafel Lager Griquas 28-19 in a pulsating final.

The match was a replay of the very first Currie Cup Final in 1892, with the same result as well as DHL Western Province emerged victorious against the visitors from Kimberley.

Having gone through the group phase of the competitions with home and away victories against Border Bulldogs, Boland Cavaliers, EP Kings and SWD Eagles, DHL Western Province beat Toyota Free State in the quarterfinal and the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the semifinal to set up the showdown with Griquas at Florida Park.

Dobson said that it has been a remarkable journey and although there were some testing moments, his team rose to the challenge every time.

“Thinking about where we started from as a collection of club players, disappointed DHL Stormers and promising U21s we built them into a really tight unit.

“The spirit and pride was great, so there is a great sense of achievement in what we built.

“Every horrible moment we got through, which is great,” he said.

He added that his team were well prepared for the knock-out phase of the competition by the level of rugby they faced in the South Section.

“People maligned the South Section as an easy section but we have beaten three of the other teams in a row now.

“People don’t realise that teams like Border and Boland are doing some great work, so I knew the South Section was going to be tough,” he said.

The DHL Western Province coach said that the atmosphere at Florida Park was a massive factor in lifting his team’s performance in the final.

“We were privileged, Mdantsane was special, so was Oudtshoorn and the Green Point Track but this [Florida Park] was amazing. The size of the crowd, the energy and that wall of support with ‘WP jou lekker ding’ as we ran on the field, you could see the team lift and it contributed today, I think their support helped a lot,” Dobson added.