Western Province speedster Seabelo Senatla is confident that the Cape Town-based team will bounce back after their disappointing 21-20 defeat to the Sharks at Newlands last weekend.
With a young squad, Western Province have emerged as one of the front-runners in this year’s Currie Cup. After five rounds, they boasted three victories, which came against the Golden Lions, Pumas and Bulls.
Conversely, they slumped against the Cheetahs and Griquas on the road before suffering their first home defeat of the season against the Sharks on Saturday.
Seabelo Senatla, who is enjoying his third season of Currie Cup rugby, acknowledged the disappointing result but stressed that there’s more to look forward to.
“We let ourselves down, to be honest,” Seabelo told MyPlayers. “We started off very well and did enough in the beginning to put ourselves in a good position to beat the Sharks, who are a very tough team. But we didn’t deliver a full performance and suffered the consequences.
“Despite the result, we still have a very good team. The players are bonding really well this season and we just need to remain focused.
“We have many young players who are putting up their hands and a few more experienced players playing their part too. There’s a great balance in the squad.
“If we play to our potential, we can back ourselves to go all the way during the Currie Cup this season.”
With many WP seniors on Springbok duty and others moving on to overseas clubs, many of the players in the Western Province squad will be wanting to use the Currie Cup to play their ways into Super Rugby consideration next season.
However, Senatla said the team is focused on winning the Currie Cup too.
“Yes, the Currie Cup provides a platform for players to prove themselves at a higher level. Every player in the team wants to play at the highest levels,” said Senatla. “But we have goals for the Currie Cup. We’re playing in a competition that we want to win. So our minds are not on 2018 as yet as we have a tough line-up of fixtures to prepare for.”
Western Province will enjoy a break this week before they face the Cheetahs (home), Pumas (away), Griquas (home), Lions (away), Bulls (away) and Sharks (away) ahead of the play-offs.
Meanwhile, Senatla continues to work hard in what has been a difficult 2017 season for him personally.
“I’ve had a tough run with injuries over the past two seasons, which has prevented me from running at my best,” said Seabelo. “After amazing 2015 and 2016 seasons, which included a Currie Cup title, I’ve faced many challenges this year, but I realise I will become a better player because of these experiences. I want to make my mark during the Currie Cup this season.”
By Gareth Duncan