Former Junior Springbok captain Moerat says Western Province remain confident

Salmaan Moerat of the DHL Stormers relaxes his muscles during a training session at Newlands in April 2019.
Salmaan Moerat of the DHL Stormers relaxes his muscles during a training session at Newlands in April 2019.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Western Province lock and former Junior Springboks captain Salmaan Moerat believes that the team has not lost confidence despite last week’s Currie Cup setback against the Sharks in Durban.

Western Province lost 32-27 and have to regroup for this Saturday’s tough clash against the unbeaten Lions at Newlands.

With only six games to decide the four semi-finalists‚ home losses are unthinkable in the cutthroat competition format.

Moerat though‚ feels that despite the added pressure after last week‚ there is no panic within the squad.

They calmly assessed where they went wrong and have been going about rectifying their mistakes on the training ground.

“We have to improve our defence and more specifically our collective line speed‚” Moerat said. “The Sharks had some success because we didn’t always go up as one line.

“Our patience is also something we have to work on‚ especially coming up against the Lions this weekend.

“Our confidence is still high and although we lost to the Sharks we still saw a lot of positives in the performance as well. But we have taken some lessons from the opening two weeks and we are trying to improve on them.”

Moerat‚ who has only recently returned to the field after a series of injuries‚ including a badly broken nose‚ is enjoying his starting role and adding to his experience.

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Coach John Dobson has shifted 2018 Springbok tourist JD Schickerling from lock to flank to accommodate Moerat.

With another former Junior Bok lock‚ Ernst van Rhyn‚ in the back row‚ Western Province have plenty of lineout options and scrumming power.

“I missed a huge part of Super Rugby due to a number of injuries. So I’m happy to have a chance again and another opportunity to improve‚” Moerat said.

“I broke my nose in training because I was a little too high when tackling. Reducing my height is something I have been working on over the past few weeks.

“I went straight into the theatre for an operation on the same day as the injury.

“Using JD at No 7 flank adds another lineout option in addition to his ability as a player on the ball. Having that extra lineout option is useful.

“Our set pieces have been one area where our performances have been consistently high and we want to maintain those standards this weekend.

“The props are really happy at the moment. They have remarked on the energy they have been getting from behind them.”

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