Currie Cup

Province on full power for Boland





Western Province will not rest any of their players and instead will field their best possible team for the Western Cape Currie Cup derby, when they face the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington on Saturday.

Following the 91-3 hammering the hapless Bolanders received at the hands of the Free State Cheetahs last Saturday, it was suggested that Province may decide to rest some of their stars and give fringe players a run.

However, WP coach Kobus van der Merwe made it clear that – despite the thrashing they received from the Cheetahs – underestimating Boland on Saturday could prove to be a big mistake.

“I am not resting any of my players against Boland,” Van der Merwe told this website.

“They are a better team than the score against the Cheetahs reflects. Its also a local derby and you can’t dismiss the pride and passion that goes with that, so we want to be at our best.”

The return of scrum-half Paul Delport to fitness has alleviated some of Van der Merwe’s concern regarding who to play in the position, as he has lost two of his frontline scrum-halves – Bolla Conradie getting a Springbok recall and Conrad Hoffman injuring both his knee and ankle during the 18-13 opening round victory over the Lions last week.

Delport also suffered a calf strain against the Lions, but has been cleared to play.

“I have bought Ashieq Wise to the bench,” said Van der Merwe.

“But Paul is fit again and should be fine to play against Boland.”

Wise started his career in the 1998 South African Under-19 team and then went on to play for WP till 2004, when he transferred to the Pumas. In 2007 he returned home to Newlands to play in the Vodacom Cup.

When asked about the game against the Lions Van der Merwe said that he had not been totally thrilled by his team’s performance and that they had some work to do before facing the Cavaliers.

“Our ball retention wasn’t great,” said Van der Merwe.

“We also struggled in the contact. The slippery conditions didn’t help us either, but we are working on all of that.

“We also lost too many finishing opportunities and the clinical aspect of the game wasn’t great either, but our defence was superb and the first ten minutes of the second half we were really good,” said the coach.

“I’m glad we came out well in those ten minutes and took the win, those first minutes of the second half are crucial.”

Van der Merwe also revealed that De Wet Barry will act as stand-in captain – in place of the injured Luke Watson – when WP face Boland.

By Gareth Green 365 Digital

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