The cupboard is bare for the Tafel Lager Griquas
According to the old nursery rhyme Old Mother Hubbard couldn’t give her poor dog a bone because her cupboard was bare, and the Tafel Lager Griquas found themselves in a similar position on Monday after their 45-51 defeat at the hands of the Bulls in their first round Currie Cup Premier Division clash at Tafel Lager Park over the weekend.
As many as 19 players missed practice – either injured or laid low with influenza ahead of their noonday clash with the Xerox Golden Lions at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg tomorrow.
As a result of the low numbers, Monday’s practice saw the team reviewing the videos of the Bulls match to see where mistakes were made; the thinking is that once these were identified the team and coaching staff could strategise to rectify those areas at practices during the rest of the week, but as a result of the fitness concerns even Tuesday was declared a rest day for the players.
However, the team were back in harness on Wednesday, and the coach said they were at that time still unsure of a final team line-up because they were waiting on injury reports on a few players before deciding on a team capable of standing up to the challenge that the Lions may pose, bearing in mind that the Lions are keen to redeem themselves after last week’s defeat to the Steval Pumas.
Engledow also said that his team was looking forward to the scene that was awaiting them when they played the curtain-raiser to the Super Rugby semi-final between the Lions and the Hurricanes.
“The Lions have done exceptionally well during the last three years, now also with their Springbok players back in the fold, they have a good chance of firstly beating the Hurricanes in the semi-final, and then going on to win the Super Rugby title.
“This will be a great experience for us to play in a curtain raiser at Emirates Airline Park. We enjoy playing away from home as much as we enjoy playing at home, but we are expecting this to be a tough encounter,” the coach added.
“We plan to be positive and play attacking rugby like we have been doing, but we also have been working hard on our defence as we want to win this match while we are aware that the Lions will want to play their brand of rugby,” Engledow said.
Griquas (15-1): Eric Zana, AJ Coertzen (capt), Tertius Kruger, Clinton Swart, Enver Brandt, George Whitehead, Christiaan Meyer, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, Sias Koen, Wendal Wehr, Pieter Janse van Vuren (vc), FP Pelser, Ewald van der Westhuizen, Marius Fourie and Liam Hendricks. Bench: AJ le Roux, Devon Martinus, Mzwanele Zito, RJ Liebenberg, Renier Botha, Ederies Arendse, Johnathan Franke.