“It has been a very special journey with some of the guys and I have learnt a lot through the process"
TAFEL LAGER head coach, Peter Engledow, will be wanting to leave on a high as his charges face the Cell C Sharks tomorrow in the final Currie Cup match of the season for the home side.
It hasn’t been an easy time Engledow admitted, but it has been fulfilling.
He told the DFA, “From my side I’ve just had a fantastic five years here. But, I have to admit this last year was very difficult and I don’t think that we were necessarily handled correctly by the directors and that’s just the way it was done, but that’s out of my control.”
“From my side I’m just going to go and do my best and stay professional till the end. Obviously, after the game I’m sure emotions will take over, but I’ve given up a lot and enjoyed it tremendously to be involved with Griquas.
“It’s been an absolute privilege and honour and I think I’m walking away having learnt a lot, met some incredible people and just really loved Kimberley.
Engledow admitted that it wasn’t always easy being head coach of Griquas. “I’ve got to admit obviously the last couple of months have been a bit tough, but you learn to cope with things and as my dad always said if you start something you finish it and I want to finish on a high and leave Griquas with my head held high.”
“It has been a very special journey with some of the guys and I have learnt a lot through the process.
“Overall it’s just been an incredible experience for me and I’m just humbled by it and also so proud to have been part of it. Griquas is very special to me and I’m sad that I have to leave but as I said that is out of my hands and I just want to say that I think Brent Janse van Rensburg is going to make a big impact here and he is a very nice guy and great coach.
“I think with a fresh start with fresh coaches and new ideas, he’s going to do very well here”.
Engledow gave Janse van Rensburg his blessing and wished the new coach well.
“He gets my full blessing and best wishes going forward and I’m just glad to have had the week with him and to hand over in such a nice way and he’s a guy you can trust and it’s a big thing for me now, so I think he’s going to do very well and Griquas are very lucky to have him.”
The squad has focussed their practice sessions on key areas such as mauling, scrumming and defence which has been lacking during their campaign.
According to Engledow, the team is highly motivated and will be giving their all to end the season on a high.
He added that it was very important for the guys to stay focused on the job at hand as some of the coaches as well as some key players will be moving on to new positions at other unions and overseas. “Our main focus will be to upset the Sharks and come away with a win on Saturday.”
The Currie Cup is a tough competition, especially when playing against the top bigger union sides, but it seemed in previous matches that Griquas try to play catch up rugby in an effort to win but as the coach pointed out,”We don’t go out to intentionally play catch-up rugby. We play against very strong teams and the reality is that we fight every Currie Cup game to try and win.
“Week-in and week-out and we don’t try to play catch up but at the end of the day we play a brand of rugby that we try and enjoy and work hard to topple teams but obviously we want a good start in every game.”
Engledow admitted that Griquas haven’t had the best season defensively and with Peter Bergh already departed it has been difficult. However, with the arrival of Janse van Rensburg, there has been a bit of a spark in the defence.
“The players responded very well to Janse van Rensburg and I like what he’s trying to introduce here and I think he’s going to be very successful.
“He’s got a record as a defensive coach and I think the guys have bought into some of his ideas and I’m excited to see what we can do against the Sharks.
“One-on-one tackles will continue to be something that players and coaches will have to work on but I think from what I have seen the guys will be up for a good defensive effort.”