'WP can beat Sharks'
WP defence coach Jacques Nienaber is confident his side can become the first South African team to beat the Sharks in Durban this year when the two sides face off in Saturday's Currie Cup Final.
The Sharks' only loss at Kings Park in 2012 was against the Chiefs in the Super Rugby tournament and they have a superb record against Western Province recently, beating them four out of five times in all competitions.
Nienaber, who is hailed as the man who masterminded WP and the Stormers' almost impenetrable defence, believes WP's last two defeats to the Sharks has actually helped the Cape Town outft to improve.
"We were beaten 43-27 in Durban during round two, but we played with 12 men at one stage,' Nienaber told keo.co.za.
"We were still in the game before we were issued those two red cards and the final yellow card just made things even more difficult.
"The Sharks scored three tries with a greater man advantage.
"But earlier in the game, we were very competitive. We manned up against their powerful pack and had the technical game plan that troubled them.
"The 25-23 loss in Cape Town in the opening round was a learning curve for us.
"While we were placing a greater focus on attack, it revealed we didn't have an effective scramble defence.
"Most of their tries came from turnovers in possession. But the situation has improved since then.
"We've lost many of our first-choice players to injury, but we have the formula to beat the Sharks in the final.
"This greater balance between attack, defence and tactical kicking plan also bodes well for Super Rugby next year."
Nienaber believes the Sharks' excellent kicking game and strong defence has been important in their successful season, especially during the Currie Cup.
"Many people believe the Sharks are doing well because of their strong attack," he said.
"But the Sharks have improved very well on defence. They're also kicking the ball a lot.
"The Currie Cup stats show that they've kicked the most during the tournament.
"They even had six more kicks than the Blue Bulls in the semi-final. I don't think anyone has picked up on that."