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Coach chuffed with Griquas’ tenacity

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Griquas second half team made a great difference forcing the visitors from the Cape to defend for all they were worth.

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TAFEL Lager Griquas head coach, Scott Mathie called Tuesday’s loss to the Stormers a tale of two halves after Griquas’ narrow 38-32 loss in their Preparation Series clash at Tafel Lager Park.

“In our defence, we were missing too many tackles and our set-ups were not great as we weren’t able to offload,” Mathie told the DFA on Wednesday.

The coach said that despite the loss, the good thing is that they know exactly where the Stormers capitalised. “We were pushing up on the inside, which allowed them to play into the spaces, so we have a lot of work to be done, especially on our urgency in our tackle technique in the first half.”

But Griquas second half team made a great difference forcing the visitors from the Cape to defend for all they were worth to ultimately clinch the win. Coming back from being 24-13 down at the halftime break showed commitment by the Peacock Blues.

Leolin Zas of the Stormers and Siba Qoma of Griquas during the SA Rugby Preparation Series match played at Tafel Lager Park on Tuesday March 9. Picture: Frikkie Kapp, Gallo Images

The hosts responded with real intensity after the visitors scored a converted try in the sixth minute of the match, chalking up their own converted try two minutes later, thanks to a good break by inside center André Swarts who sent Ederies Arendse through to dot down.

And that set the tone of the match, with neither team backing down for the duration of the match.

ALSO READ: Stormers beat back late Griquas charge

Mathie said that despite going into the break with a huge deficit, the first half performance was good.

“I think we attacked very well in the first half – our set piece, our line-outs were functioning well, while our scrums improved in the second half,” he said.

“However, I am very proud of how the guys rallied and came back from that deficit and (to within) a line-out from winning the game. It was good to see the guys pull themselves back from trying their best to try to pull off the win the game.”