THE WINDHOEK Draught Griquas finally return to their fortress after playing four consecutive away games. No doubt, the boys will feel a bit more at home this Sunday at 2pm, when they take on the Griffons at the Windhoek Draught Park Stadium in Kimberley.
Confidence levels will also be up, especially after they managed to narrowly beat the ADT Lions 18-25 in a come-from-behind victory in Johannesburg last week.
The road trip was tough and brought mixed results. Before last week’s win at Emirates Airline Park, Griquas were pummelled 40-3 by the Bulls at Loftus. In Round 4 of the competition, Griquas played the ultimate April Fool’s prank on Western Province, beating their hosts 13-32. And the week before that, the reigning Currie Cup champion Pumas outmuscled Griquas 28-13 in a tough encounter in Mbombela.
Message from Windhoek Draught Griquas hooker Janco Uys. Our next Currie Cup fixture is this Sunday, 23 April at home against the Novavit Griffons. Kick-off is 14:00. #WindhoekDraughtGriquas #curriecup pic.twitter.com/WKwCiMZTP8
— Griquas Rugby (@GriquasRugby) April 19, 2023
However, last weekend’s dramatic turn of events at Emirates Airline Park, when Griquas pulled off that stunning victory over the Lions in the dying moments of their Currie Cup clash, proved the never-say-die spirit of the Kimberley team once again.
Despite the Lions valiant effort throughout the game, it was Griquas who found their rhythm when it mattered most.
With the scores level at 18-18 in the final minute, Griquas showed incredible composure and skill as they went through an impressive 25 phases to create an opening for replacement prop Cebo Dlamini to score a try that he will remember for a very long time to come.
The conversion from Eddie Fouche sealed the deal, and Griquas emerged victorious with that final score of 18-25.
Speaking during a press conference in the week, assistant coach Barend Pieterse said that they cannot pinpoint why they cannot play a full 80 minutes.
“We are really working hard on this and speaking about how we can change that, but at the moment it feels to us like we are not coming out of the blocks like we would want to,” said Pieterse.
“This happened to us in the previous season as well, and it cost us the Currie Cup last year, but all credit to the Lions, they put us under a lot of pressure last weekend,” he added.
The coach stated that it was a bit of a worry to them that they could not secure bonus points in the games they have lost, and it might bite them later in the season. However, he said that they were very happy with their wins against the Western Province and the Lions, because those were two of their targets they set out to win.
Message from Windhoek Draught Griquas Prop Kudzwai Dube. Our next Currie Cup fixture is this Sunday, 23 April at home against the Novavit Griffons. Kick-off is 14:00. #WindhoekDraughtGriquas #CurrieCup pic.twitter.com/M97NlFAR4k
— Griquas Rugby (@GriquasRugby) April 18, 2023
Speaking about the next match against the Griffons on Sunday, Pieterse said that the visiting Griffons are no strangers to the hosts.
“We have actually lost two friendly games in the past two seasons, and we cannot take this upcoming game lightly. We spoke to the guys this morning and made it clear that this is one of the important games to win this season.
“They are a very physical team, and I am sure that they think that we are a team that they can take on the day, and therefore we will not take this game lightly at all.”
Meanwhile, Griquas speedster, winger Rosko Specman, said that the team is working really hard, saying that every week they give their all during practice, and every weekend they give their all on the field.
Speaking about the backline, Specman said that they are still finding their way around each other.
“The guys are putting up great performances every week, and the nice thing about this young group is that there is a lot of competition between them, and that is the beauty of this game. I truly believe that if we do everything 100 percent clinically, we can win the Currie Cup this year.
“Winning the Currie Cup is one of my dreams, and I’ll do everything I can to achieve that,” Specman told the DFA.
With the Griquas laying fifth on the log and the Griffons dead last, the Griquas will have high hopes of winning this match on home ground.
It will be important for the hosts to start off on the front foot and not relax the intensity throughout the game. Carelessness or over-eagerness could result in them falling behind on the scoreboard and the team and their supporters would not want that to happen and that Griquas will not have to play catch-up to the extent that they are not able to get a solid win at home.