Home Sport Western Province wary of not being welcomed in Welkom by Griffons

Western Province wary of not being welcomed in Welkom by Griffons

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Western Province are aware that they will need to be at their very best if they’re to beat the Griffon when they meet in a Currie Cup clash in Griffons on Friday.

Andre-Hugo Venter of Stormers during the United Rugby Championship 2022/23 match between Stormers and Lions held at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa on 31 December 2022 ©Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Cape Town — You might find the Griffons relatively easy to beat elsewhere around the country but there’s something different about them when they play in Welkom and according to Western Province hooker Andre-Hugo Venter, they will be wary of that threat.

Being from the Free State and after playing his age-group rugby games against Griffons teams, Venter warned that they should expect a fierce onslaught from the Purple People Eaters in their Currie Cup clash on Friday (kick-off 3pm).

And more, the hostile home crowd will also have a big say along the touchlines as they support their team.

The Griffons are struggling at the moment having only won one match so far — against the Blue Bulls — in the domestic competition, but this WP side is eager not to be added to the list.

“Going to Welkom and playing in that stadium is not an easy task, you play the Griffons somewhere else, and it might be easier. Going to Welkom, though, it’s like playing Griquas in Kimberley,” Venter said.

“It’s tough, that field is hard, it’s a tough crowd and I don’t know why but for some reason they are just a tougher side in Welkom. There are definitely some players we need to look out for in terms of stopping them.

“For us to get good momentum, we have to break their momentum.”

Province’s stand-in coach Labeeb Levy said the Griffons are a professional side compared to the past, so they’ll have to be ready for what they can bring.

Although his side came agonisingly close to beating Free State this past weekend, he is happy with the progress of the youngsters, especially in the absence of more senior guys playing in the United Rugby Championship.

WP are currently fifth, behind Griquas, on the log and can jump up to fourth with a win on Friday.

“They don’t necessarily go away,” Levy said about the Griffons and their fight.

“They have a certain style that they’re playing – hard up the middle. Their 10 is a threat and their 12 scored two tries against us and he could’ve probably scored four.”

Levy said they will have to look out for individual players like’ winger Jamba Ulengo, scrumhalf Jaywinn Juries and inside centre Marquit September.

The WP side will have to wait for the Stormers side to be selected though to see who they have available for the trip to Welkom, with selection for the Stormers’ semi-final taking priority.

But the Currie Cup side has done well under the circumstances and could be in a good place on the log when most of the Stormers players return in a couple of weeks.

@Leighton_K

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