Dobson: WP learned a lot from Currie Cup semi clash

Western Province coach John Dobson says there are lessons for next week's final clash with the Sharks.

Western Province coach John Dobson addresses the media. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Province edged the Blue Bulls 35-32, needing extra time in what was a pulsating Currie Cup semifinal at Newlands.

The match ended 32-32 after 80 minutes and then impressive SP Marais, who scored 30 of Province’s points, slotted the penalty in the second half of extra time.

It was Western Province's biggest scare of the season, as no team had run them as close as the determined Bulls did on Saturday.

They’ll meet the Sharks at Newlands.

Province coach John Dobson says his team never panicked.

"When I went onto the field with 10 minutes to go, they were entirely calm. They just breathed in, breathed out, realised they had to play the territory, get the penalty and that's exactly what happened. And that says a lot about the leadership of this group."

Dobson says there are lessons for next week.

"In the week we wanted to be stress tested. I didn't mean quite that, I thought maybe 19-12 could be a nice stress test, not extra time. But I think we learned quite a lot from it. Maybe a couple of errors in selection, couple of errors around the kicking game, which was very poor."

He says there is no need to overthink their performance.

"I do think we have to very careful about being too introspective. I think that the Bulls were outstanding. Our plan was to get two scores clear, we were 6-0 up and they got the try they just lifted. I think a lot of credit goes to Pote Human for what they did with their rugby because they just kept coming back and coming back."

Western Province captain Chris van Zyl says the timing of Saturday’s match will work in their favour.

"We hadn't really been stress tested and the lesson we can take out of that is definitely something that the timing of it will be crucial for us. We'll do a proper review and I know we didn't play up to our standards but I think there are definitely some things we can take into next week's game, which is great."

The Blue Bulls ended their season on a high with their gutsy performance. The union is still on the hunt for John Mitchell’s Super Rugby replacement.

Currie Cup coach Pote Human indicated his willingness to take the job.

"It will be a real honour to coach the Bulls' Super Rugby side but that's not for me to decide. It's a great bunch of players and we love each other and they play for me and I work for them and I treat them like my own kids. It would be an awesome experience and privilege to coach the Super Rugby side."