Western Province will work hard to limit Golden Lions star looseforward Hacjivah Dayimani’s time and space when the sides meet in a heavyweight Currie Cup clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Dayimani has been the stand out performer in the competition this year‚ with his searing pace and impressive stepping. As a back rower he has added width and speed to the Lions’ attack.
WP flank Kobus van Dyk, who is more from the school of direct and powerful running, wants to keep the Lions man honest this weekend, by testing the more basic virtues of his game.
“You need different types of loosies in rugby,” Van Dyk said. “In our set up Trokkie (No 8 Juarno Augustus) gives us a lot of go forward and I try to compliment that.
“This weekend we have to keep an eye on Dayimani because he likes to run in the wider channels. If we can make some good hits early in the game‚ make him play tighter and take his space away‚ then he won’t have such an influence.”
Although Dayimani is an obvious threat‚ WP bring some of their own weapons to the match. Most notable is their explosive back three of Dillyn Leyds‚ SP Marais and Sergeal Petersen. They will enjoy the fast‚ firm conditions on the highveld.
Attack coach Dawie Snyman believes that his team has the firepower to stand up to the Lions.
“The Lions are a tough team when they play at Ellis Park‚ you can see it in their performances in both Super Rugby and Currie Cup‚” Snyman said.
“The Lions create opportunities with ball in hand. But we back ourselves with the ball too. We won’t be too concerned about how they play‚ but rather about our execution.
“If you play off players like SP Marais the guys have to be aware of opportunities. We encourage that and don’t try and hold guys back from looking for chances. But we work on it and try and create scenarios for the players in training.
“The back three compliments each other. SP and Dillyn have played a lot of games together and that makes it easier for Sergeal to slot in. Their contribution off the field is also massive.”
Marais believes the Lions’ success comes from their brave attitude‚ which comes from a system that encourages them to express themselves.
“The Lions are a young team and in their case ignorance is bliss‚” Marais said. “They aren’t scared and play with confidence‚ especially at Ellis Park. The players are also desperate to show their coaches they are good enough for Super Rugby.
“We are similar. For me a game is never dead and I will always try to do something. I will rather die fighting even when our backs are to the wall. It’s to do with my stubborn character I guess.
“Our coaches empower us to think and not be too systematic because we are the ones on the field. Part of our growth is entrusting certain characters to take charge and develop their skills.”