Planet Rugby

WP keen to face full-strength Sharks

24th October 2013 08:43


Allister Coetzee Stormers SR 2012

Allister Coetzee: Wants WP to face the Sharks' first-choice XV

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee is glad that Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis will be playing in Saturday's Currie Cup final in Cape Town.

While many critics believe the Springbok rake was lucky not not to be suspended for a stamping offence that saw him receiving a yellow card in the Sharks' semi-final win over the Cheetahs, Coetzee said he is glad Du Plessis is playing.

"I don't have any comment to make (on the judicial hearing)," Coetzee told Supersport

"As far as we are concerned we want to play against a full-strength Sharks team so that it is a proper test of the strength of the two teams.

"You want to become the champions by beating the best, and we see this match as a great opportunity to confront the challenge posed by a really great rugby team.

"This is what finals are about, the best against the best, and if you look at the number of Springboks in both sides you realise that this is the perfect final and a really special occasion.

"These are the best sides in the competition and it is a fitting final."

WP captain Deon Fourie shared his coach's sentiments but admits that Du Plessis' inclusion will be a massive boost for the Durban-based outfit, who will field their first-choice XV if Jannie du Plessis passes a late fitness test.

"Of course Bismarck will boost the Sharks, he is a really great hooker and he boosts them in a number of areas," he said.

"Finals tend to be a set-piece dominated game, and his presence will have a positive effect on both their scrumming and the line-outs.

"But we played against their full-strength pack in Durban a few weeks ago and we did okay. So we are looking forward to the challenge and the chance to play for the title against a top quality side.

"I don't think we are the favourites or the underdogs.

"Maybe there has been a slight change in the roles in the sense that last year when we went to Durban we were very under-strength. But the Sharks are not under-strength.

"They have their top players available. It's going to be strength versus strength. It will be a 50/50 game and come down to which team makes the fewer mistakes and makes the best of its chances."

  • Currie Cup Fixtures
  • Currie Cup Table
Currie Cup 2013
Currie Cup Table
1Western Province1037
4Golden Lions1026
5Blue Bulls1017