Home Sport It’s simple – who’s hungrier?

It’s simple – who’s hungrier?

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The Tafel Lager Griquas know full well that they need to pull up their socks in tomorrow’s crunch Currie Cup encounter at Tafel Lager Park

AIMING HIGH: The Tafel Lager Griquas have been hard at work this week, well aware that tomorrows match is a must-win affair. Picture: Dave Alexander

Having started the Currie Cup competition in the worst possible way with two losses and only a solitary point to their name on the log, the Tafel Lager Griquas have it all to do when they take on a young, but motivated Blue Bulls team at Tafel Lager Park tomorrow afternoon at 2.15pm

The problem facing the hosts, however, is that the Blue Bulls know that nothing short of a good start in tomorrow’s game and fixing their defensive lapses that cost them so dearly last week against the Xerox Golden Lions will secure them victory in this crunch encounter against Griquas in Kimberley, according to the visiting captain Hanro Liebenberg.

The Tafel Lager Griquas know full well that they need to pull up their socks in tomorrow’s crunch Currie Cup encounter at Tafel Lager Park.

Griquas have both the experience and the ability to overcome the young Blue Bulls outfit at their disposal, but the hosts know that they will face a desperate opponent who find themselves in a precarious situation having to win all three of their remaining round robin matches if they are to make the domestic competition’s play-offs.

Griquas have been working on their execution, and will be hoping that their forwards and backs can combine and replicate the series of slick movements, that saw them put the Lions under immense pressure in the final quarter of their match two weeks ago. Griquas would, however, do well to remember that a match is 80 minutes long, and they cannot afford to relax for any part of the game.

By now they will be all too aware that trying to play catch-up rugby simply does not work, especially in the Currie Cup – a full 80 minutes of hard graft and solid defence is non-negotiable.

As for their opponents the Bulls know from experience that Griquas is known for being a banana peel for many big teams in the Currie Cup, and the Bulls captain wants his charges to make a statement from the outset and not allow the hosts any breathing space to pull off an upset.

The fact that Griquas are winless after two matches and the Bulls’ vulnerabilities have been exploited in their two defeats to the Sharks and Golden Lions will be a cause for concern for the men from Pretoria, and they know that they will need to get cooking from the kick-off.

“It is more a mental battle when you go to Kimberley,” says Blue Bulls captain Hanro Liebenberg. “We know Griquas will come out firing. If we can make an early statement against them because if you let them in it is going to be a long day.

“So we must make a statement from the first minute.”

Blue Bulls coach Pote Human agrees with his captain. And having been in charge of Griquas in the recent past, Human understands what his team can expect at Tafel Lager Park tomorrow.

“I coached Griquas and I know what is waiting for us. They will target their home games and this is their first home game of the season. We lost last week Saturday so we have to get points back somewhere so it is going to be huge for us. But I know they will be ready for us. We need to have a great start because if they see that they are in the game, it is going to be tough,” Human said.

Griquas fitness and conditioning coach, Neil Murphy told the DFA that Griquas were hungry for a win and this hunger would drive them tomorrow. “We are going into this game with our backs against the wall. We need to be relentless in our attack and ruthless in our defence,” he said.

“We will have to dominate in the set-pieces and make sure we take them on physically at the breakdowns. Our backs will be up for running rugby making sure they dice up the (Bulls’) defence,” Murphy added.

What could tip the balance in Griquas’ favour is something that the Bulls have not considered.

Murphy hinted at what his team’s secret weapon would be tomorrow afternoon. “We are very excited at playing our first home game and want to give the crowd a great game and make this the start of an upward curve for us in the Currie Cup.”

A good crowd of passionate, cheering, flag-waving supporters has been known to put opposing teams under pressure and Griquas’ supporters are known for being able to carry their team and give them a boost in important games.

Murphy made it clear that Griquas are aware of the challenge, but are up for the fight tomorrow. “We will have to match them and fight them all the way making sure we put ourselves in a position for the win,” he said.

Griquas (15-1): AJ Coertzen, Ederies Arendse, Kyle Steyn (captain), André Swarts, Enver Brandt, George Whitehead, Christiaan Meyer, Conway Pretorius, Sias Koen, Eital Bredenkamp, Pieter Jansen van Vuren, Sintu Manjezi, Nicolaas Oosthuizen, Khwezi Mkhafu, Devon Martinus.

Bench: Wilmar Arnoldi, Ruan Kamer, Wandile Putuma, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, Zak Burger, Christopher Bosch, Tythan Adams.