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Players are up for this match - Griquas Coach

BIG HIT: Griquas were not taking it easy on the pactice field this past week as they worked on sharpening their game against the defending champions tomorrow. Picture: Dave Alexander

Tafel Lager Griquas will not have forgotten how close they came to lifting the SuperSport Rugby Challenge title on two occasions. There was the disappointment in 2017 when they were humbled 28-19 by Western Province at Newlands, and last year their challenge ended in heartbreak when they were beaten 32-30 by the Pumas at the Bridgton Sports Ground in Oudtshoorn.

Tomorrow the Kimberley team will be at the Nelspruit Stadium determined to turn the tables on the team that pipped them to the title last year when their game against the ISG Pumas kicks off at 3pm. It’s a table-topping clash between this season’s only two undefeated teams and it’s sure to be a humdinger.

It is not going to be easy for Griquas, playing at the Pumas home ground, but the visitors will no doubt hold nothing back in their quest to win this one and get some payback for last year.

Griquas have been working hard at practice this week, even after they had dominated the strong Vodacom Blue Bulls team at Tafel Lager Park last Saturday. Despite winning that game the team was being put through their paces by the coaches to iron out their mistakes that had crept in last week.

They were also working on new game plans, in order to carry on their good work in the tournament thus far.

Hopefully, Griquas don’t become complacent at this stage of the competition due to their unbeaten run, as tomorrow’s game will be their toughest challenge yet. However, watching the team practice it is clear that they are highly motivated and the coaching staff are pleased overall with the team’s performance so far this season.

Griqua head coach, Brent Janse van Rensburg, spoke to the DFA yesterday, saying that preparations for tomorrow’s match have gone well. “It has been a good week of preparation. The players are certainly up for this match,” he said.

Janse van Rensburg added that the main concern for Griquas would be to contain the Pumas at their line-out. “They have scored 58 percent of their tries from their line-out,” the coach told the DFA. “Maul stoppage and containing their strikes from the line-out will be important,” he added.”

But the coach said that the Pumas are not a one-dimensional team. “We expect an aerial kicking game from them, as well as attacking kicks, which we will need to handle,” he said.

“Stopping momentum of their ball carriers will also be important. We have to exhibit line speed and strong ‘tackle fight’ will be essential. It will make for an interesting match.”

When asked what Griquas would have to focus on to be successful tomorrow, the coach was to the point in his reply.

“Being disciplined, accurate in the execution of our plans, and looking after possession is of cardinal importance to us for this match,” he said.

TEAM

Griquas (15-1): Grant Hermanus, Ederies Arendse, Michal Hazner, André Swarts, Anthonie Volmink, George Whitehead, Christiaan Meyer, Conway Pretorius, Sias Koen, Wendal Wehr, Victor Sekekete, Jonathan Adendorf, Ewald van der Westhuizen, AJ Le Roux, Khwezi Mona. Bench: Khwezi Mkhafu, NJ Oosthuizen, FP Pelser, Gideon van der Merwe, Zak Burger, Chris Smit, Enver Brandt.