Tafel Lager Griquas need to come back down to earth before facing the unbeaten Free State Cheetahs
Tafel Lager Griquas may be brimming with confidence after beating Western Province by 10 points in their 44-34 victory over the Cape team at Tafel Lager Park on Wednesday, but now have a mountain to climb tomorrow afternoon when they take on the defending Currie Cup champions and as-yet undefeated Free State Cheetahs team in Bloemfontein at the Toyota Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
Griquas had to dig deep to break a nine-match losing streak against WP while also coming back from three consecutive defeats in their Currie Cup campaign to register their first win which took them from bottom of the log to fourth spot.
Griqua conditioning coach Neil Murphy told the DFA that the Kimberley team knew what was expected of them ahead of the WP clash.
“With three games played and three games lost before the Province game we knew we had to dig deep and perform in an unbelievable way to beat a formidable Western Province outfit, and my goodness did our boys perform exceptionally well,” the coach said.
“We started the game very well and set the pace with very good interplay between forwards and backs, but during the middle of the game we did lapse in focus allowing them to come back and take the lead by 10 points with 23 minutes to play. After that lapse, however, we picked up the tempo again and never looked back.
The coach said that tomorrow’s match would almost be mission impossible if Griquas didn’t tighten up in the execution of their game plan. “Our big focus is now for the encounter against the Cheetahs will be our set-pieces, which has not been good enough for Currie Cup level and we need to make sure we get it right on Saturday (tomorrow).”
Murphy also said that they didn’t have much time to prepare for the Cheetahs match which could be a factor tomorrow. “We only had a quick turnaround to prepare for the undefeated Cheetahs who are presently top of the log, and we will need to capitalise on our win and use our momentum for the match in Bloemfontein tomorrow afternoon.”
Meanwhile, AJ Coertzen the captain who led the side that broke Griquas’ three game losing streak in the Currie Cup, agreed with Murphy that they made all the running in the first half against Western Province which helped set up the win for them.
He said that when Griquas lost the toss and were asked by WP to play against the wind they thought that they’d be at a great disadvantage. However, as it turned out the wind did not make much of a difference.
Coertzen said they obviously knew they were under pressure to come up with a win on Wednesday, and the plan was to keep the ball away from their visitors, especially their dangerous back three.
The skipper added that it will now help Griquas to keep the winning momentum going into the Cheetahs game.
“We’re playing away from home (and) I am excited. Obviously I am excited because we won, the confidence is still high and the winning momentum is there, now we must just make this winning and good performance a habit.”
The Griqua team will only be announced today.