Western Province coach John Dobson in coaching nirvana after win over Golden Lions

Coach John Dobson of Western Province during the Currie Cup match between Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province at Emirates Airline Park on September 15, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Coach John Dobson of Western Province during the Currie Cup match between Xerox Golden Lions and DHL Western Province at Emirates Airline Park on September 15, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Western Province coach John Dobson was left in coaching nirvana after his plan came together and the ball bounced for his team in the first half in their crushing 65-31 Currie Cup win over the Golden Lions at Ellis Park.

“As a coach you just dream that things go your way and then you have days where the ball bounces for you. It did to a degree in this match‚” Dobson beamed after his first win as a senior coach at Ellis Park.

Western Province played with enterprise and belief and stunned the Lions in the first half in which they rattled up 39 points.

“This scoreline is a complete reversal of what we’ve had here over the last few years. For us it is a massive turn around‚” said captain Chris van Zyl.

“I’ve been coming here with Dobbo since 2015 and has never been able to win. I’m ecstatic about that given their steppers‚ the energy that they have and it always feels that there is so much width out there for them.

“They also have belief that they can come back from any scoreline. Our goal was to win‚ or to at least draw the last 15 minutes. We are really happy with that‚” said Van Zyl.

Dobson prepped his side for the final quarter and he knew his side would need a big buffer.

“We knew they would finish strong and they came to within 20 and they swept down the left‚" said Dobson.

"It was then that Chris reset the team and talked about the importance of the last 15 minutes.

"The last 15 minutes ended up 14-all‚ which is a great achievement for us at Ellis Park.

"The fact that they could call on rolling substitutions also helped the visitors sustain their high tempo style at altitude.

“It has been one of those things I haven’t been particularly clever with this season‚” Dobson admitted about his use of his bench.

“It is one of the things we identified. This week we wanted to be cleverer and it is was not ideal to have your captain off at 30 minutes. To get him back on fresh to close the game was fantastic.

“Bringing Salman Moerat back on and Trokkie Augustus late in the game too meant we used the rolling subs really well. Other days it might back fire but it didn’t in this game.”

His team may have attacked with vision and precision‚ but Dobson lamented the lapses in defence. He believes his team’s maul defence needs revision‚ while the number of Lions’ line breaks is also cause for intervention.

Overall however the visitors were thrilled with the result.

“We wanted to get a home semi-final and a home final in front of the faithful and this was a key step in that direction‚” said van Zyl.

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