Western Province loose forward Nizaam Carr says he’s enjoying his time on the field as he’s been encouraged to play his natural game.
There’s been a notable improvement in Nizaam Carr’s form during the Currie Cup this season. The 25-year-old loose forward has shown great intent on attack and defence, making a good impact among the forwards up front while he’s also combining well with his team-mates in the backline.
Carr said this is the type of game he embraces.
“I enjoy being the link between the backs and forwards. It’s the type of role that I’ve played well since school level. It’s a big strength in my game, which I haven’t had the opportunity to show in a long time,” Carr told MyPlayers.
“I’m really enjoying my rugby at the moment. A lot of credit has to go to the coaches, especially a guy like John Dobson, who has come in and encouraged me to play to my strengths. This has given me a lot of confidence and I think that’s showing during the Currie Cup.”
Western Province booked a home semi-final after beating the Sharks 31-20 in Durban during the final league round last weekend. The result ended the Sharks’ 10-match winning streak in the competition. Carr believed that it was one of the team’s top performances, proving their potential as title-contenders.
“There was inconsistency during earlier rounds of the Currie Cup, but we showed what we can do if we deliver a full 80-minute performance. We did well in the first half and followed that up with a bigger effort in the second half,” said Carr. “To beat the Sharks in their own backyard was a big achievement.
“We still have lots more to do going into the semi-finals, but that result shows we’re moving in the right direction.”
Western Province will host the Golden Lions at Newlands in their play-off clash on Saturday. Carr believes the Lions will pose a huge threat, especially with the addition of their Springboks.
“The Lions showed against the Cheetahs last weekend (in a 44-17 win) that they are a dangerous side… one that will punish you if you make mistakes,” said Carr. “They have a great set-piece game, with a guy like Marvin Orrie running their lineouts. Their loose forwards, like Cyle Brink and Kwagga Smith, will be a handful, especially at the breakdowns. I believe they will target us there.
“Their Springboks have also returned after the Rugby Championship and will make a big difference this weekend.
“We will need to be at our best when we face the Lions this weekend. It helps that we are playing at home in familiar conditions, with the DHL Newlands Faithful behind us!”
Meanwhile, off the field, Carr said he’s enjoying life with his family.
“As we’re doing this interview, I just popped in to visit my mother. My family and friends, especially my wife, have shown great support during my career. It’s going to be great having them in the stands this weekend as it’s going to be a big semi-final contest between WP and the Lions. Having the right support structures around you motivates you to step up your game,” said Carr.
By Gareth Duncan