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Griquas relishing tough Pumas challenge

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Griquas will be hoping that the mistakes made during the early part first half last week have been ironed out for this massive encounter against the fancied Pumas outfit.

Griquas have been preparing to face a confident and in-form Pumas team in Mmbombela. File Picture: Dave Alexander

COMING off their great 31-10 win over the Cheetahs in their second round match of the Carling Currie Cup last Saturday, Griquas will face their old rivals, New Nation Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday in a match kicking off at 4pm.

Griqua coach Scott Mathie told the DFA that coming off their great win last last weekend they will be facing a few challenges on Friday.

“Yes, so we are obviously making the trip up to the Pumas (but) it’s been a a bit of a disruptive week. One of the Cheetahs players was in close contact with us in the game, so we are missing some props for this weekend’s game as well as the hooker.

“As you know this is not ideal but as you (also) know the squad has a lot of character in it. But we carry on as a point that we are adaptable,” Mathie said.

Griquas will be hoping that the mistakes made during the early part first half last week have been ironed out for this massive encounter against the fancied Pumas outfit.

Mathie was under no illusions about the challenge. “We are playing against a very good Pumas team. They have shown that in their first two games.

Griquas narrowly beat the Pumas in their Preparation Series clash in March. File Picture: Frikkie Kapp, Gallo Images via BackpagePix

“I am sure they will be very happy with what they are doing, and Jimmy (Stonehouse) will ensure that they have a whole lot of special players and tricks up their sleeve being the old ‘jakkals’ that he is.”

Last week Griquas showed exactly what they are made of, especially in the second half against the Cheetahs where they really shone, showing all the character and prowess that they really possess.

The team made very few basic errors and showed what they are made of, with great stamina, good tactics, strong defence, speed and good match-winning thinking.

The Griqua coach said that their hosts are brimming with confidence after their 39-10 win over the Lions in Mmbombela in the first round, followed by their narrow 32-27 loss to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld last week.

The last time these two teams met was in March this year when Griquas narrowly pipped the Pumas 23-22 at Tafel Lager Park after leading 11-0 at the break in a Preparation Series match. So Griquas have to be on guard against the backlash.

“They (the Pumas) will be in a really good place at home, being excited and looking forward to this game and are pretty confident,” Mathie told the DFA.

“So yes, it is a big task for us but you know this Griquas team is all about these type of games, these big games. We also look forward to the travel and our side is coming off a very good win against the Cheetahs and we also have a lot of confidence in the ranks.

“It’s going to be a very exciting game.”

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