“Tuesday’s game against the Stormer is always going to be a big one, as they always put together a strong team to Kimberley” – Scott Mathie, Griquas head coach.
TAFEL Lager Griquas will have to pick up the pieces after their 35-10 defeat to the Cell C Sharks in their Preparation Series fixture in Durban at the end of February when they host the Stormers at Tafel Lager Park on Tuesday, in their second match of the competition kicking off at 4.45pm.
The local squad have been hard at practice since their defeat in Durban and they were looking very sharp and eager to put in a much improved performance for this upcoming encounter.
Though Griquas were hammered 35-10 in their first round they had produced a very good first half performance. They let it slip after receiving two yellow cards in the second half.
For Tuesday’s clash against the visiting Stormers there are four changes to the starting XV. In the backline, Masixole Banda takes over the No.15 jersey from James Verity-Amm and Ederies Arendse gets promoted from the bench to replace Daniel Kasende on the wing.
In the midfield, Michal Haznar comes in to join André Swarts. There is one change in the forward pack with Carl Els taking over the No.6 jersey from Gideon van der Merwe.
Head coach Scott Mathie told the DFA that they were expecting a big game on Tuesday. “Tuesday’s game against the Stormer is always going to be a big one as they always put together a strong team to Kimberley.
“We saw the strength of their pack and their set pieces against the Cheetahs last week, so it’s going to be a big challenge set-piece-wise to match them in the scrums and the line-outs, an area that we can focus on.”
Mathie added that the Stormers posed more than a single threat. “There is also a big threat on their counter-attack with the likes of their fullback, Sergeal Petersen, and with their centres playing the running type of rugby, which will have to make our kicking game more accurate in order to nullify those threats.
“But we are looking forward to it, even though for 60 minutes where the Sharks went ahead, where unfortunately the two yellow cards let us down. But if we can take that out of the print … then I am confident we can put together a much better performance,” Mathie said.
Meanwhile, Stormers coach Rito Hlungwani said that the trip up to Kimberley will be a challenge and that the Cape side’s players must embrace the opportunity.
“Griquas are always highly motivated when they play us and we are looking forward to rising to meet that challenge. However It has been a good week of preparations and everyone is excited to get to Kimberley and show what we have planned,” he said.
GRIQUAS (15-1): Masixole Banda, Ederies Arendse, Michal Haznar, André Swarts, Eduan Keyter, George Whitehead (c), Stefan Ungerer, Sibabalo Qoma, Stefan Willemse, Carl Els, Cameron Lindsay, Mzwanele Zito, John-Roy Jenkinson, Alandre van Rooyen, Mox Mxoli. Bench (16-26): HJ Luus, Andrew Beerwinkel, Tijde Visser, Ewan Coetzee, Jo-Hanko de Villiers, Ashlon Davids, Tinus de Beer, Daniel Kasende, Bandisa Ndlovu, Raegan Oranje, Harlon Klaasen.
STORMERS (15-1): Sergeal Petersen, Sihle Njezula, Ruhan Nel, Cornel Smit, Leolin Zas, Kade Wolhuter, Godlen Masimla, Juarno Augustus, Ben-Jason Dixon, Marcel Theunissen, Chris van Zyl (c), David Meihuizen, Neethling Fouche, Scarra Ntubeni, Ali Vermaak. Bench (16-25): Chad Solomon, Kwenzo Blose, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Evan Roos, Ernst van Rhyn, Paul de Wet, Chris Schreuder, Edwill van der Merwe, Sazi Sandi, 2Abner van Reenen.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Mpho Matsaung
TMO: JJ Wagner