THE WINDHOEK Draught Griquas will stick with the tried and tested formulas when they run out against the Airlink Pumas in Mbombela (Nelspruit) on Friday evening in a Carling Currie Cup match from which they hope to put their call on the semi-final spot beyond doubt.
Barend Pieterse, current Eastern Cape Kings line-out coach appeared as Griquas guest and fielded media queries for the provincial side on Tuesday. Pieterse was of the firm belief that now that Griquas have a toe-hold on the semis of the domestic competition they need to stick to what works for them.
Griquas’ show of force in their game against Toyota Cheetahs was still very much talk of the town on Tuesday. Griquas had subdued Cheetahs 46-18 just about a fortnight ago and thereby stopped their neighbours’ winning streak dead in its tracks.
The Cheetahs have since then gone on to take more punishment from the Airlink Pumas who outplayed them 28-29 last weekend. On that same weekend a fortnight ago Griquas’ recent casualty DHL Western Province also took a 33-10 pounding from the Sigma Lions at Emirates Park.
About Griquas chances against the Pumas this weekend the Griquas advisor Pieterse was forthright saying: “There is still a lot for us to play for … They (the Pumas) are playing nice rugby at the moment. They’ve got something of everything, They’ve got some magic at the back. They’ve got physicality at the front and their set pieces are running well.”
He said a night game away from home for Griquas in Nelspruit was always going to be a tough game. “The vibe in the camp is not overly confident or anything like that.”
On Tuesday the United Rugby Championship cast a shadow over the domestic league proceedings in Kimberley. Word is out that the Cheetahs will also play in the northern hemisphere European Professional Club Rugby (EPRC) league alongside the four other South African teams in the competition.
If that happens pundits are of one mind that the Cheetahs will lean heavily on the likes of Griquas and Pumas to get players who will help them to add depth to their squad to cover them for both the domestic and international fixtures.
In the meantime, Friday’s game in Nelspruit has been moved back to start an hour later at 7pm.