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No holding back – Griquas out to retain possession and use it against WP

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Looking ahead to the Western Province encounter, coach Barend Pieterse said that they expect a lot from the WP Currie Cup side.

Luther Obi of Griquas crosses to score a try during the Carling Currie Cup 2022 match between the Western Province and Griquas held at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 3 June 2022 ©Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

AS THE Windhoek Draught Griquas prepare to take on DHL Western Province in their next Currie Cup match in Cape Town on Saturday evening, they will definitely be looking to improve on their recent performance against the Airlink Pumas.

Last week Griquas went down 28-13 in Mbombela to the dominant and determined defending champions. And the Kimberley team will have to shake off that loss and get back to the business of winning as they find themselves in the bottom half of the table with one win and two losses from their first three games.

The Western Province lads are in a better position, with two wins from three games, although last week’s loss to the Sharks – a team that Griquas beat – will not sit well with them.

ALSO READ: WP out to break Griquas Currie Cup hoodoo

Speaking to the DFA during a press briefing on Thursday, Griquas captain Hanru Sirgel pointed out that they were in the game, competing well, against the Pumas for the first 60 minutes, but let it get away from them in the last stretch of the second half.

“We never managed our time and energy well, so that will be one of our main focus points this week against the Western Province,” he said.

Assistant coach Barend Pieterse said that they have focused on their set-pieces this week in training, as they struggled a bit in their scrums against the Pumas.

“We are not in any way making excuses but it must be said that our forwards are very young, and that is the only way they will learn, to play against the best,” he said.

Looking ahead to the Western Province encounter, coach Pieterse said that they expect a lot from the WP Currie Cup side. These players get to rub shoulders with the Stormers United Rugby Championships team almost every day, and there is some real energy in the Cape camp.

“WP pride themselves on their set piece, and they like to move the ball around a lot,” Pieterse said. “ We are expecting a physical battle but also that the ball won’t be kept in the forwards hands.

“We will definitely be looking after the ball more than our previous games. We have focused on our defence and attacking this week and we can’t move the ball around if we don’t have the ball in our hands,” the coach added.

Though Western Province has, historically, had the better of the rivalry with the two teams having played each other 34 times in the Currie Cup, with the Cape side winning 24 to Griquas’ nine and a single draw, and with WP also having recorded the most consecutive victories against Griquas – nine wins on the trot between 1998 and 2002 – Griquas have been grinding the Kapenaars lately.

In the 2019 Currie Cup, Griquas defeated Western Province 27-23 in a thrilling encounter at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. It was Griquas’ first victory against WP in Cape Town since 1992.

So while Western Province may have the historical edge in terms of victories, Griquas have shown that they are more than capable of causing an upset and will no doubt continue to challenge their more illustrious opponents.

With Griquas and WP enjoying such a rich Currie Cup history, playing some thrilling matches that have been closely contested and fiercely competitive over the years, there is no doubt that we can expect nothing less this weekend.

Windhoek Draught Griquas XV (15-1): Malcolm Jaër, Reagan Oranje, Jay-Cee Nel, Eddie Fouche, Luther Obi, Lubabalo Dobela, Johan Mulder, Carl Els, Hanru Sirgel (captain), Stephan Smit, Albert Liebenberg, Derik Pretorius, Cebo Dlamini, Gustav du Rand, Eddie Davids. Bench (16-23): Janco Uys, Kudzwai Dube, Janu Botha, Michael Amiras, Niel Otto, George Whitehead, Alex-Zander du Plessis and Sango Xamlashe.

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