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Griquas announce new coaching team

Pieter Bergh will be he Tafel Lager Griquas head coach as from October 1. Picture: Facebook

Former Griqua coach Scott Mathie made a point of thanking his former employers saying how proud he was to have worked at the Union.

THE GRIQUALAND West Rugby Union announced on Monday that Scott Mathie would be moving on from the head coaching position to be replaced by the Central University of Technology’s Varsity Cup former head coach Pieter Bergh.

After an exciting run with Griquas over the last few seasons where Scott Mathie built the team up from being the whipping boys of the bigger unions, the former head coach’s final stint with the team came to an end when Griquas were eliminated from the 2021 Currie Cup semi-finals by the Sharks in Durban in a real nail-biter.

Mathie made a point of thanking his former employers saying how proud he was to have worked at the Union. “I have enjoyed every moment working at the Griquas and am extremely proud of the management staff and players for their effort over the last three years,” he said.

He added that being at the helm at Griquas was good for his growth as a coach. “They allowed me to grow as a coach and achieve such an exceptional season with the team,” he said in a statement.

Besides Mathie having the bragging rights of bringing Griquas into this year’s Currie Cup semi-finals he had brought pride to the Peacock Blues by running down their erstwhile nemesis, DHL Western Province 46-25 in Cape Town – the first away win for Griquas in the Cape in 110 years.

So there will be no regrets from either side with Mathie moving on.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Griquas CEO Arni van Rooyen announced that the union had agreed to a three-year coaching deal with Bergh. The latter, in acknowledging the appointment, mentioned that he is essentially returning to the Diamond City after having previously spent seven years as assistant coach at the Peacock Blues.

“After seven years as an assistant coach (under Peter Engledow) earlier in my career at Griquas I really look forward to returning to Kimberley and to start working with the players and management team,” said Bergh.

“It is a massive honour to be appointed as head coach of Tafel Lager Griquas, and I will do my best to build on the good work that has been done at the Union (in) the last couple of years,” Bergh went on to say.

“I truly believe that I can take this team to the next level,” he added.

The new head coach will be assisted by former Southern Kings forwards coach Barend Pieterse, who is a former Springbok himself. According to a statement from Griqua Rugby, Pieterse is considered as “one of the best line-out specialists in the country”. Meanwhile, Brendall Brandt, himself a former Griqua player, will slot in as assistant coach.

In conclusion, the Union added Mathie’s name to an impressive list of coaches and players who had gathered grit, determination and experience in Kimberley and gone on the further establish themselves as household names – Kobus van der Merwe, Swys de Bruin, Dawie Theron, Pote Human, Hawies Fourie all being mentioned.

The new coach will officially step into his new role on October 1.

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