Griquas to end 100-year drought?

Mon, 17 Sep 2012 17:06
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Griquas, determined to reach the play-offs for the first time in more than a decade, will have to break a 100-year Currie Cup drought.

Griquas, determined to reach the play-offs for the first time in more than a decade, will have to break a 100-year Currie Cup drought at Newlands to realise their dream.

Coach Pote Human, delighted at his team's third successive victory, admitted they will be up against a determined Western Province team at Newland on Saturday.

"I must say, I have been really impressed with how the team stood up after losing the first three matches and bounced back," Human told this website - after his team added the scalp of the Blue Bulls at weekend, following wins over the Sharks and Golden Lions in the preceding rounds of the competition.

"We are playing some really good rugby week-after-week," Human said, adding: "But we need to maintain that continuity now."

However, they face an arduous trip to Cape Town for an encounter with a Province team determined to bounce back from their loss to the Sharks at the weekend - a defeat that was compounded by the disgraceful behaviour of a few players.

WP loose forwards Jebb Sinclair and Tyrone Holmes will appear before a South African Rugby Union disciplinary hearing on Tuesday after being red-carded for punching in the loss to the Sharks.

Human is well aware of the enormity of the task awaiting his team.

"Griquas last beat Western Province [in a Currie Cup game] at Newlands in 1911," the Griquas coach told this website.

"It is a huge challenge for us [to end that drought].

"We are well aware that WP, after their loss to the Sharks, will come back at us with everything and it is a huge game for both teams."

However, the reward for such a rare, historic win, will be a huge step closer to a place in the Currie Cup play-offs for the first time since 1998.

"The guys are well aware of the importance of this game.

"We asked ourselves, what our goals are and in order to get into the semifinals we need that win at Newlands."

Human  admitted that with only four rounds remaining in the league phase of the competition, an away win this coming week will make up for one of the home defeats in the early rounds.

"We can't say maybe next week or the next week," he said, adding: "We approach this as the most important game for us this season."

Human revealed that wing Rocco Jansen is struggling with a hamstring strain and No.8 Leon Karemaker with an upper leg muscle injury.

"However, I am confident both will be fit. We will manage them this week and they should be fine.

"Luzuko Vulindlu [who missed the win over the Bulls with concussion] is fit again and available."

The only player that will miss this week's game is wing Jannie Boshoff, who will attend his father's funeral later in the week.

Boshoff senior tragically died in a plane crash late last week, resulting in Jannie Boshoff to withdraw from the encounter with the Bulls.

The tragedy rallied the close-knit Griquas team, who will this week again play for their teammate.

By Jan de Koning

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Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1