Former Western Province coach Alan Zondagh has praised the Cape side after they outplayed the Blue Bulls playing an attractive brand of rugby.
WP and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has come under fire this year for the “boring” brand of rugby his team played. For instance, the Stormers topped the Super Rugby log without scoring a four-try bonus point in any of their games.
But last week against their arch rivals, they surprised friend and foe with their style, thrashing the Bulls 42-6 in the process.
“I’m glad to see that they’re playing with more freedom,” Zondagh told Die Burger.
“To play like that you still have to do the basics well and they did just that. There was huge enthusiasm amongst the youngsters. I thought the Bulls would try to intimidate them physically but that didn’t happen.
“Allister Coetzee can feel very chuffed. Hopefully this gives WP the confidence to stick with this type of game in future. They don’t need to give up their rock-solid defence in the process.”
Damian de Allende, WP’s replacement wing who scored their fourth try, was a student at Zondagh’s rugby academy last year – and his former mentor views him as a versatile player. “He can play outside centre or wing, but I sometimes used him as an inside centre because he has a good boot. He’s also a good goal-kicker.”
‘Don’t write Duvenage off’
WP’s reserve scrumhalf Nick Groom – who replaced the injured Dewaldt Duvenage – had an outstanding game, providing an extra dimension on attack from the base of the scrum.
However, Zondagh – himself a scrumhalf in his playing days – says Duvenage shouldn’t be written off.
“He still has the best pass of any scrumhalf in South Africa. It’s accurate and quick. People blame him because he only distributes, but I think he was restricted to play according to a game plan. At school he was an attacking scrumhalf. He can do the same as Groom. He has all the skills.”
But Duvenage will have to wait until next year to prove his attacking credentials after scans revealed he broke his leg against the Bulls, which rules him out for the season.
WP take on the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday. Kick-off is at 19:05.