Western Province managed to survive a pressure cooker of a match against a very determined Cheetahs outfit at a very wet Hallowed Grounds of Newlands. The result sees the Province boys remain unbeaten thus far in the competition as it would seem that they have learnt from the errors they committed the previous week against the Bulls. This was a big match against big opposition and so it would seem that in the space of a week, the team has learnt a little something about the BMT I wrote about last week.
Whilst the rest of the country was celebrating what was an incredible Springbok victory, a small band of the faithful braved the elements to support their team at the Hallowed Grounds of Newlands. Perhaps the rain was Western Province’s saving grace as it limited the opportunity for a free-flowing, running rugby match to be played – a style which would certainly have suited the men from Bloem and possibly even have seen them take this match. The match quickly turned into a battle of attrition up-front and it was heartening to see the improved performance by the Western Province scrum after last week’s shocking spectacle. Of greater encouragement was the spirit shown by the team as they fought back to win the match 15-14 after being behind 0-14 early on in the match. I’ll admit that – due to past performances – there was a stage when I did not believe that Western Province would win and was happy to be wrong in this instance.
As I have mentioned before, it is critical to win your home games in this competition. Also of equal importance is to learn how to win the tight games. This weekend’s victory was a step in the right direction for the reigning champions and should stand them in good stead in the future as they will look to retain their title. Another huge task lies before the Capetonian outfit this coming weekend as they travel to Kimberley to take on the giant killing Griquas on their home
cement track field. There is no doubt that this competition is one of the toughest in the world.