Griquas will also remember how close they came to losing their first encounter when they squeaked home 38-37 at the Sivos Stadium in May.
Tafel Lager Griquas have made a number of injury-forced changes to the team that will run out against the Down Touch Griffons in their last round robin game of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge series scheduled to take place the Pelotona Stadium in Welkom tomorrow. The match kicks off at 3.30pm.
There will be no room for mistakes for Griquas as they have the most to protect with the Kimberley team currently leading the log standings with 31 points after their six wins from seven games. There is, however, no doubt that Griquas might be sufficiently fired up to imagine themselves grabbing this last outing to confirm their berth in the quarter-finals.
Griquas will also remember how close they came to losing their first encounter against tomorrow’s opponents when they squeaked home 38-37 at the Sivos Stadium in May.
The Griffons lie second from bottom of the log with 13 points. They, unlike their counterparts in tomorrow’s match, are smarting from a thumping at the hands of the Leopards who pipped them to the posts at the death hour to record a 38-35 win last week.
Griqua forwards coach Denzil Frans said that ahead of this match they have had to rejig their team because of injuries. Conway Pretorius, who gave a good account last week in Mdantsane, is nursing a niggle and will miss the Griffons appointment. Jono Janse van Rensburg will stand in for him at eighthman, and Louis Venter replaces Christiaan Meyer at scrumhalf.
Frans said they will generally prepare for a less physical game and instead concentrate on serving up a tactically sound display because the Griffons “are fond of open play”.
Inside centre Jonathan Franke, who broke his nose during the Eastern Cape clash, is presumably sufficiently plastered back together and will be starting this weekend. Good news is that Luxolo Ntsepe, Godfrey Ramaboea and George Whitehead return to the starting line-up for this clash.
AJ Le Roux too has made a comeback to the starting 15 where he joins Wandile Putuma and FP Pelser in the engine room. The rest of the team is the same as the one that ran out last week.
Griquas have been looking like a solid unit of late, this much was clearly evidenced by their last outing against the Cell C Sharks in Mdantsane last week.
Head coach Peter Engledow has been keeping his eye on the other teams, and told the DFA that he was particularly impressed with the progress of the Pumas who have made a clean sweep of the northern section of the competition to take 34 points off their seven round robin games.
The Pumas are in a tough neighbourhood with the likes of the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the Gauteng Golden Lions. These two teams are breathing on the neck of Pumas with the Bulls on 26 points and Lions on 23.
Down south the usual suspect DHL Western Province leads the pack with 34 points followed closely by South Western Districts (24) and the Boland Cavaliers (21).
Should Griquas clinch tomorrow’s game in Welkom they might in all likelihood play their quarter-final at their beloved Tafel Lager Park, which should delight the home supporters.
Griquas (15-1): AJ Coertzen (c), Godfrey Ramaboea, Christopher Bosch, Johnathan Francke, Tythan Adams, George Whitehead, Louis Venter, Jono Janse van Rensburg, De Wet Kruger, Kevin Kaba, Wandile Putuma, FP Pelser, Nicolaas Oosthuizen, AJ Le Roux, Devon Martinus,
Bench: Khwezi Mkhafu, Ruan Kramer, Sintu Manjezi, Sias Koen, Christiaan Meyer, Andre Swarts, Luxolo Ntsepe