WP excited to be preparing for proper action after three weeks of training – Jantjies

Herschel Jantjies says the possibility of playing at Newlands for the last time this weekend in the Currie Cup semifinal against the Sharks, won't cloud his team's focus. Picture: Getty Images

After a few cancelled games because of Covid protocols, the Cape-based team will finally return to action for the first time since January 2.

Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies said on Tuesday the Western Province players were upbeat about this weekend’s Currie Cup semifinal against the Sharks, a match which could turn out to be their last-ever game at Newlands.

The only way the famous old stadium will see another game – a Currie Cup final – is if the Bulls are knocked out by the Lions at Loftus in the other semifinal.

Western Province are set to move to Cape Town Stadium from next season.

“Playoff week is finally here after all the waiting,” said Jantjies.

“We have worked hard for this and I think we have earned it. Some people might differ on the brand of rugby we have played, as opposed to what they wanted to see, but I think the competition was exactly what we wanted and we got the desired outcome.”

While the Province players are fully aware they can host the final if the Lions spring a surprise on the Bulls, and they oust the Sharks, Jantjies said they weren’t allowing outside factors to blur their focus.

“Even if it happens that the Lions end up beating the Bulls and we can’t beat the Sharks, it would all be in vain and our season would be over. Hopefully we can come out this weekend and the result goes our way, that’s more important,” he added.

The Bok halfback said that while they had not played since their narrow 31-29 win over the Cheetahs on January 2 in Bloemfontein, their focus had not wavered, even though the playoffs were shifted out by an additional week.

“Unfortunately we missed out on both previous occasions when we were supposed to play the Sharks (because of Covid issues), but on the plus-side, we have had three weeks of solid preparation without any game time in between.”

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