WP in a huddle. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)
- WP coach John Dobson lauded the Bulls for a fine performance to reach the Currie Cup final.
- He believes even a few rough refereeing calls wouldn’t have been enough for the Capetonians to catch their opponents.
- Jake White praised his charges’ decision-making, particularly in an outstanding first half.
A gracious John Dobson was left in awe of the Bulls’ power and precision after they generally overwhelmed his Western Province troops to reach the Currie Cup final, noting that it will take “something exceptional” to topple them.
Jake White’s charges will host either the Sharks or Griquas in next Saturday’s showpiece match following a sparkling 48-31 victory on Friday evening.
“It would take an exceptional performance to beat this team, they’re really well-drilled and have depth. I mean, did you see the size of that bench that came on? No,” said the Cape side’s mentor.
“Look, some other teams have come close previously, but Loftus is definitely a fortress again and it’s a tough place to play rugby. I hope we can agree that a weakened Province side played with a lot of spirit but was still well beaten. It’s going to be tough for anyone to come here.”
The Streeptruie were indeed enterprising yet little much else as the Bulls plagued their wayward defensive line with some incisive attacking play, while also – unsurprisingly given the visitors’ injury problems – having the upper hand in the set-pieces.
By half-time the hosts had established a 38-12 lead and Dobson believes that even two questionable refereeing decisions that might’ve brought Province back into contention at least wouldn’t have changed the result.
“The damage was done early and the Bulls definitely had something left in the tank,” he said.
“But there were some frustrations. We really struggled with some interpretations at the breakdown. I think even before the Edwill van der Merwe try (ruled out by the TMO due to him not having control) we had a really tough poaching call go against us in the Bulls’ 22.
“Edwill’s call was also tough, we would’ve had something to play for. At the very least we could’ve had more of a thriller, but I don’t think we would’ve caught the Bulls anyway.”
His counterpart was chuffed with a showing that showcased abundantly that the Bulls are becoming far more rounded.
“I was very happy with the way we played,” said White.
“We basically won the game in the first 30 minutes. Some of the plays we ran we quite outstanding. It was controlled and there was understanding when to call the plays.
“It’s important for a coach to see that from his players.”