DHL Western Province will look to buck recent history in their Currie Cup home opener against bogey side Griquas on Saturday.
Province will take on last season’s Currie Cup finalists in the late kickoff at Cape Town Stadium, shortly after the DHL Stormers host Premiership side Harlequins in a Champions Cup last-16 playoff.
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Experienced second rower Gary Porter, fit again after a spell on the sidelines with an injury, was in high spirits on Tuesday as he joked that the Stormers clash would serve as a nice curtain raiser for the Currie Cup match.
Province won both of their opening fixtures at altitude against the Lions and Vodacom Bulls, but the wheels came off in a loss to the Sharks in Durban last weekend.
“I think we just didn’t stick to our DNA,” said Porter, when asked about what happened against the Sharks. “We didn’t play real WP rugby and I think that bit us. We didn’t do what we wanted and didn’t execute our plan.”
Western Province next take on Griquas, who will arrive full of confidence despite a loss to defending champions Pumas in Nelspruit.
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The Peacock Blues have won their last four games against Province, who last tasted victory in this match in December 2020. Most recently, the two teams played in an 84-point thriller in Stellenbosch last June, when Griquas snatched a 43-41 victory thanks to a converted try after the hooter.
“The first thing is to fix the things that went wrong last week. We need to put on a show that we can be proud of and that is unique to our DNA,” said Porter.
“Griquas plays good rugby. They are physical and move the ball well. We look forward to it and hopefully, we can correct history as well.”
Porter said that with John Dobson serving as head coach of both Province and the Stormers, the synergy between the two squads is very good.
“They are balancing both squads. There’s a clear plan for all the players, and they know the plan. There’s definitely no divide between us, which is really important if we’re running two competitions.”
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