Home Sport Griqua injuries a bit of a concern ahead of visit to Cheetahs

Griqua injuries a bit of a concern ahead of visit to Cheetahs

Picture: Dave Alexander

Griquas are concerned about the high number of injuries in their ranks going into this game against the Cheetahs.

TAFEL Lager Griquas are hard at work plugging the gaps in their play ahead of Wednesday’s midweek encounter against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in their second meeting of this season’s Carling Currie Cup competition at 4.45pm.

Griquas are concerned about the high number of injuries in their ranks going into this game at the Toyota Stadium with the Griquas technical team this week confirming that there are `10 injuries in the squad.

The injuries are themselves testimony to the high pressure clash last week at Loftus Versfeld against the Vodacom Blue Bulls who blew the Kimberley side away 56-33. It is no exaggeration that the brave Griqua players threw their bodies at the Bulls machine in a vain bid to stop the onslaught against them.

Griquas, who were convincingly outplayed at Loftus, have all the reasons to busy themselves with getting the team selection spot on for the Cheetahs clash on Wednesday.

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After being exposed by the Bulls in their last encounter, it is vitally important that Griquas go over every piece of team ‘Peacock Blues’ machinery before they run on against the Cheetahs who will still be hurting after they were beaten 31-10 in Kimberley in late June.

Griqua coach Scott Mathie, however, knows his team’s next opponents very well and told the DFA what he was expecting from the Bloemfontein bruisers. “It’s important that we tighten up on defence,” he said.

“The Cheetahs are a really expansive team who have a lot of attack-minded players and are very dangerous with the ball in hand. They are playing well and scoring a lot of tries.

“It is important that we get our width on defence and are able to slow down their quick ball. It is also important we secure our own set piece in order to apply pressure through multiple phases,” the coach said.

The coach confirmed that a pretty big concern was the injury count in the squad. “We have had a lot of injuries the past 10 days and we will only know (later on Tuesday) which players have recovered in time.”

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For their part the Cheetahs will have their backs up in Wednesday’s clash. They played to a 44-44 draw against the Sigma Lions in their last midweek game and that result did not have the desired dividend for the Free Staters as they still find themselves languishing at the bottom of the championship standings.

The Free Staters’ fortunes have taken a turn for the worse this season with the normally competitive side that is usually capable of giving it back in equal measure, finding themselves off the pace thus far.

Wednesday’s clash against Griquas might just provide Cheetahs with the stepping stone out of the lowly position they currently find themselves, or at least they might be hoping so. However, Griquas are not likely to be that generous given that they have mostly punched above their weight in this series this time around.

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