Western Province head coach Allister Coetzee was a happy man after his team's resounding 35-7 win over the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.
"It was a good result. I don't want to get carried away but this has been a good day at the office," Coetzee said.
"It was a brilliant team effort," he said, before adding an immediate caution: "But it's still a very long way to go."
The coach had been particularly pleased with two aspects of Province's performance - the physicality and the workrate, both of which he felt had been outstanding.
Coetzee had been pleasantly surprised by the physical intensity of the young players.
"That is one aspect you need to have if you want to play at Super 15 level. It's really been a big tick in my box.
"There are other things we still need to work on but that [physicality] is something you can't really coach; you either have it [or you don't] and the attitude in this match was fantastic."
However, he believed the team had still a lot of improvement to make with regard to accuracy and discipline.
"There's still a lot of work to do in terms of our accuracy and on attack to continue building those phases and to make sure that when the opportunity arises you take it.
"The accuracy wasn't there all the time. But I've got to be patient because there are young players who will make mistakes."
The young players still needed to grow and there were still tough away games in the competition, Coetzee said.
"We will still lose some games, and there'll be some games in which we'll battle, because of the young players we've got.
"But they made good decisions tonight [Saturday] and I was very pleased with the way we played. It was exactly according to the plan."
Praised for his team's astute tactical kicking, Coetzee commented: "When you play a side like the Bulls, who are a momentum-based side, you don't want to play them in your half because you'll be tackling most of the time and they're a disciplined side who keep ball in hand so you've got to play in the right areas of the field.
"I think it's about playing intelligently, making decisions when to kick and when to run and I think the balance tonight was really good."
The coach said he was pleased with how well the loose-forward trio had complemented one another, with players playing towards the ball allowing players playing away from the ball more opportunity to attack as ball-carriers.
Having Rohan Kitshoff - later in tandem with substitute flank Nick Fenton-Wells - playing effectively towards the ball had allowed brilliant runners like Nick Köster and Siya Kolisi to attack the opposition with ball in hand.
Coetzee had also been very happy with the set-piece performance and the improved retention of possession through phases. Forwards' coach Matt Proudfoot had been under pressure to lift the performance of the pack and the players had responded very well.
There had been a specific plan to use Hilton Lobberts more effectively and this had been a success.
Coetzee expressed satisfaction at the Western Province under 19 and under 21 teams also achieving good victories over the Bulls in the curtain-raisers at Newlands on Saturday, with the under 21 side emulating their seniors in earning a four-try bonus point, which meant that the three Province teams had gained a total of 14 log points out of a possible 15 on the day against the Bulls.
Province captain Tiaan Liebenberg - who delivered an exceptional all-round personal performance, which included scoring the game's superbly executed opening try from a planned set-piece move - was especially pleased with the team's effort at breakdown.
"The way we handled them at breakdown is something we spoke about during the week.
"We said we need to man up to sides like the Bulls, the Cheetahs, the Sharks - guys that come physically for you - and I think we did that well."
By Len Kaplan at Newlands
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