Semi win leaves scars on Province

Dobson will have to do without Viljoen, Schickerling for cup final

23 October 2017 - 07:27 By CRAIG RAY
HANDYWestern Province's Nizaam Carr shows the ability that won him the match-of-the-man award in his team's Currie Cup semifinal victory over the Golden Lions at Newlands.
HANDYWestern Province's Nizaam Carr shows the ability that won him the match-of-the-man award in his team's Currie Cup semifinal victory over the Golden Lions at Newlands.
Image: Gallo Images

Western Province will go into Saturday's Currie Cup final with a few changes after lock JD Schickerling and centre EW Viljoen were injured in the semifinal against the Golden Lions.

Viljoen limped off in the 35th minute of their 19-5 win at Newlands with a suspected torn hamstring, while Schickerling cried off in the 50th minute with his ankle heavily strapped.

"It doesn't look good for EW in particular and he'll definitely be out next week," Western Province coach John Dobson confirmed.

WP were good value for their win over the Lions, which came on the back of a superb forward effort and great defence.

For all their talk of ball-in-hand rugby, Dobson's men suffocated the Lions through solid defence and edging the set phases.

They made 163 tackles and picked off two crucial Lions lineouts in a match that turned on fine margins.

Western Province will need both those areas to function well in the final against the Sharks in Durban after the latter advanced with a 37-27 win over the Blue Bulls.

Province beat the Sharks 31-20 at King's Park in the final round-robin match of the campaign, but Dobson believes that they will face a hungrier Sharks in a home final.

"We are not reading too much into our last result against the Sharks because mentally they didn't need to win the game," Dobson said.

"It is a nice feeling to play them again because we know how to attack against their defensive system that won't change.

"But the Sharks will be far more desperate this time around.

"And honestly I believe it will be a cracking final between to the two best teams in the competition.

"What is a concern for us is the way we defended against mauls.

"The Sharks will bring a mauling threat and we have to sharpen up because we missed too many sacks.

"But for the rest I thought the forwards were great against the Lions," Dobson said.

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