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No room for error

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Griquas have to be ultra-vigilant on defence against dangerous WP.

Picture: Dave Alexander

The SuperSport Rugby Challenge has reached the knockout phase and the Tafel Lager Griquas will find themselves up against the wounded and dangerous DHL Western Province team in the first semi-final of the competition that takes place at the KaNyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit at 12.30pm on Sunday.

This game will be followed at 2.30pm by the second semi-final at the same venue, with both matches being screened live on SuperSport 1 and 10.

The two winners of Sunday’s semis will face-off on Saturday, June 22 at the Saldanha Sports Stadium.

Griquas sealed their semi-final berth last Saturday after they beat the more fancied Xerox Golden Lions XV 45-26 at Tafel Lager Park.

However, the Kimberley team knows very well that a semi-final is a different kettle of fish and Griquas will play against the much stronger outfits, such as this weekend’s opponents who can call on players who play in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

But will Griquas will be able to match them? This was the question the DFA posed to Griqua head coach, Brent Janse van Rensburg yesterday.

“This will certainly be a tough encounter this weekend,” the coach said. “We expect Province to be a lot better this week and lash back after their loss to a spirited Boland Cavaliers team last week.

“They (WP) get life from holding onto the ball on the attack and using their X-factor players out wide to create opportunities.

“They are also devastating when it comes to transitions and utilize turnover ball very effectively,” he added.

The coach pointed out that Griquas’ defence would have to be on full alert on Sunday. “We will need to contain their ball-in-hand mindset and their attacking kicks. Defensively, outworking them, and slowing down their ball will be vital for us on the day.”

The head coach also said that in a knockout game anything could happen and there was no margin for error.

“In finals rugby, the team that can be most accurate on the day, use their opportunities, be disciplined and manage the game well, will give themselves a good chance. It is, however, important that we still focus enough on ourselves and remember it is still a normal game of rugby.

“Making too much of the game can hinder one’s mentality,” he added.

The Griqua team will only be announced later today, due to concerns over some of the players who were laid low during the week.