Home Sport Griquas are not intimidated by Bulls, says coach

Griquas are not intimidated by Bulls, says coach

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Pieter Bergh Windhoek Draught Griquas XV head coach. Picture : Danie van der Lith.

Pieter Bergh, the Griquas head coach, said the Diamond City lads have learned a lot since their last meeting featuring the Bulls here in Kimberley.

WINDHOEK Draught Griquas are not intimidated by the Vodacom Bulls even though their last encounter against the Pretoria side in the domestic Carling Currie Cup series did not go down well and the visitors from up north ended up 53-17 victors.

The two sides meet again on Saturday at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium at 5pm. Since that last encounter against the Bulls on March 5, Griquas had gone on to savour their biggest ever win this season against the Sigma Lions 40-17 here at home.

Then Griquas had a bit of a shocker against Durban’s finest the Cell C Sharks who beat them 13-6 at the local rugby mecca now renamed Windhoek Draught Park by the same beverage sponsor who has had Griquas’ back for several years now.

Pieter Bergh, the Griquas head coach, said the Diamond City lads have learned a lot since their last meeting featuring the Bulls here in Kimberley.

“They are a very strong side and they select their best side to play every week, said Bergh about the Bulls. “Jake White (the Bulls coach) did let it be known that they are not going to rest any of their players and that they are going to select their strongest side for this encounter.

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“It’s a big challenge for us to go to Loftus. Since Jake White came back they have only lost one game over there. It’s a big challenge that awaits us. But we’ve had three weeks in which to prepare since our last match.”

The Vodacom Bulls were among the four South African rugby teams that ran out victors against their international opponents in the United Rugby Championship, easily slashing the Glasgow Warriors 29-17 last weekend.

(The other winners were DHL Stormers 20-13 Leinster, Cell C Sharks 41-21 Connacht and Emirates Lions 37-29 Benneton).

In contrast during that period Griquas were left twiddling their thumbs with no competitive matches to play except against themselves.

About this Bergh said. “Yes, that long lay-off counts against us. In that time they (the Bulls) played at least two matches and we played none. It is difficult because now you have to play against yourself and in the process you are cautious not to pick up injuries and the like.

“It is not the same as playing a competitive game against another side. That is indeed a challenge. We could not be better prepared other than playing a competitive game. We would’ve loved to have a competitive match.”

Bergh said they did expect the Bulls to field some of their top players against them this weekend. “Unlike the Lions, the Sharks and Western Province who field a different side for their various competitions. They have one group that they pick from for all their fixtures in the URC or Currie Cup.”

Griquas have consistently held on to the fourth spot on the Currie Cup rankings this season. The Bulls too have made the top rung a resting place for most of the season.

On Friday two league matches will precede the Bulls vs Griquas clash which is on Saturday. The Sharks will run out against Airlink Pumas at the Shark Tank at 4.45pm while at 7pm the Sigma Lions will take to the field against Toyota Cheetahs at the Emirates Stadium in Johannesburg.

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