DHL Western Province head coach John Dobson declared himself ‘reasonably happy’ with his team’s 21-18 pre-season win over the Eastern Province Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday night.
Playing in cold weather conditions, DHL WP scored three tries to two in their second – and final – pre-Absa Currie Cup friendly, a more inexperienced side having lost to the Pumas the weekend before.
Dobson told the www.wprugby.com website: “I think some of our players were a bit complacent out there, the work ethic certainly wasn’t what I wanted, nor what I expected.
“However, I can excuse some of it given that we’d had a busy week on camp and trained twice a day most days… plus the travel part.
“At the end of the day I am reasonably happy with our performance against an impressive EP Kings team. Our set-piece was reasonably good, we lost just two line-outs out of 21, so there were certainly some positives.
“On the negative side of things, there were too many line breaks against us and our ball security was poor so we have a bit to work on before our Absa Currie Cup opener on August 7.”
One other positive was that nobody suffered new injuries, as Dobson emptied his bench against the Kings. Only winger Kobus van Wyk (hamstring tweak) was a forced change (in the second half), with No.8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe and centre Jean de Villiers the only two players to go for the full eighty minutes.
“We made a lot of changes but that was all part of the plan,” explained Dobson, who had a 13-man bench to ‘play with’.
“Jean was chuffed with his performance. He took a lot of contact against the Pumas last week and this week he got his acceleration going.”
The players will have Monday off before reassembling again on Tuesday, July 28.
DHL Western Province will open their Absa Currie Cup title defence on Friday, August 7 (kick-off 15h30) against Griquas who won the 2015 Qualifying Tournament this weekend.