Planet Rugby

A tale of best and worst at Newlands

26th October 2013 21:17

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Western province Sharks CC final 2013

Rough stuff: The Sharks outmuscled WP

Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson hailed his team's performance in Saturday's Currie Cup Final as their "best of the season."

Just minutes earlier his Western Province counterpart Allister Coetzee conceded that his side's showing was "one of the worst" - unsurprising considering it was their first loss of the year.

Both coaches highlighted the Sharks clever kicking game and outstanding rush defence that put the hosts under pressure and forced the errors that would ultimately cost the defending champions the title.

"Finals are won by the team that makes the least mistakes,"" admitted Western Province skipper Deon Fourie.

"Credit to the Sharks for executing their game plan, their kicking game put us under pressure and we didn't have an answer."

Coetzee was highly complementary of the Sharks for tactical approach which took WP "out of their comfort zone."

"Those chip kicks behind the middle ruck was obviously the work of someone who knows a lot about our defence system," said Coetzee.

"Credit to the way they applied the pressure, by not playing at all, kicking it away and coming of the line hard and disrupting the breakdown. It was a very effective plan.

"We weren't allowed to engage with the Sharks and they played very smartly.

"We were on the back foot from [Charl McLeod's] intercept try. We made a lot of unforced errors. Our discipline was an issue for me as well."

Macleod-Henderson highlighted his team's strong kicking and their physicality at the breakdown and on defence as the ingredients that led to victory.

"We knew that we needed to win the collisions and the easiest way to win the collisions is to get off the line aggressively. We did that well and put them under pressure ," said the coach.

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