Tafel Lager Griquas coach Scott Mathie said that, despite the disciplinary lapses, he was happy with his team’s ability to stop the Sharks forwards.
TAFEL Lager Griquas continued on their winning ways when they got the better of the more fancied Cell C Sharks at the Shark Tank on Saturday. The Kimberley team continued with their excellent form with the 27- 37 win in a game where both teams earned a bonus point for scoring four tries.
In the end, one wonders what the score would have been if Griquas did not play more than half an hour in total with 13 men and at times even as few as 12 men.
An elated Griquas coach Scott Mathie spoke to the DFA after the match saying what a pleasure it was to be there for this game.
“We are very proud of that performance, that defensive effort. There are certain things that you just can’t coach. (The players) worked for each other, with the scrambled defence leaving a lot to the culture and determination of the group.
That (defensive effort) was one of the proudest moments of being on a rugby field as a coach watching the game,” he said.
The Sharks kept hammering away at the Griquas’ line for much of the first half but a combination of stout defence and poor options from the Sharks kept the hosts scoreless in the first 30 minutes. This, despite Griquas losing prop Janu Botha and their general, scrumhalf (and former Shark) Stefan Ungerer to yellow cards for repeated infringements.
Griquas’ scrumming improved dramatically and the tackling was outstanding. Ungerer played his best game for Griquas this season thus far, keeping the pack going forward. The two locks, Stefan Willemse and Adre Smith, were splendid in the hurly-burly play that followed line-outs and rucks.
Mathie said that, despite the disciplinary lapses, he was happy with his team’s ability to stop the Sharks forwards. “We managed to really stop the set piece of the Sharks, which was a big key to enjoying this game on the weekend.
“We did however have difficulties with discipline in this game, but those things we will sort out during the week and make sure we are ready and fresh to go in our next game, which is against the Lions at Tafel Lager Park on Friday.”
Without diminishing the effort and impact of the other players in the tea, it has to be said that Tinus de Beer stood out with the way he tackled bravely when he came on, and Ashlon Davids showed his versatility when he took over at scrumhalf.
Of course, the ever-reliable George Whitehead is worth his weight in gold for the team, while Jonathan Franke again showed what a brave player he is, always putting his body on the line for the team.
At one stage on Saturday, Griquas were leading 31-8 with the Sharks looking shell shocked. Some of the so-called big names in the Sharks team were shown up on the day and supporters are starting to wonder and even hope that Griquas can go all the way to the title this year.
Certainly on this current form they deserve it!
So it’s been four wins over teams always considered superior to Griquas, and this is heart-warming. Sheer guts and a will to win, triumphed on Saturday.