Soft Griquas in 'must win' race

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 18:50
Large jean stemmet griquas charge Large marnus hugo griquas pass 63 Large leon karemaker griquas 630 Large griquas mascot 630

Griquas need to avoid 'soft moments' in the next three weeks or risk slipping out of the Currie Cup play-off race.

Griquas may still be in the top four, but they need to avoid 'soft moments' in the next three weeks or they will slip out of the play-off race.

This is the reality, illuminated by coach Pote Human, facing the men from Kimberley in the final three weeks of the Currie Cup competition's league action.

The first-placed Lions (on 24 points), Sharks (second, 21) and Western Province (third, 20) have some breathing space.

Griquas (fourth, 15), Blue Bulls (fifth, 13) and Free State Cheetahs (sixth, 12) appear to be in a sudden-death shoot-out for the fourth play-off spot.

Obviously anything can happen in the next few rounds, but the latter three are the teams playing catch-up in a competition where the margin for error is virtually zero.

Following a slot start (three defeats) and a great mid-season recovery (three wins) Griquas was on the wrong of a 45-21 hiding handed out by WP.

"We played well for three weeks, but we came back to earth with a bang," is how the coach, Human, described his team's reality check.

While they encounter a WP team in good form, they have to move on and focus on another test against a team even more desperate than they are.

"We are in a situation where we have to beat the Cheetahs if we want to have any hope of reaching the semifinals," Human told this website, adding: "[But] they are in the same situation, they also have to win to remain alive in the play-off race.

"It is obviously a crucial game for both teams.

"Because there are so few games remaining [just three rounds] the pressure builds every week.

"The teams who handle that pressure the best will make it [into the play-offs]."

He admitted that while his team played good rugby at times, the players were also hesitant last week - especially in the first half.

"Those two intercept tries put us on the back foot and meant we had to play catch-up ... which made it very tough for us," Human said of his team's faltering first-half performance.

"At times we did some great things.

"However, most of their tries were soft tries ... two intercept tries and two quick-tap tries. The try WP scored from the maul was a great try, we always knew they are a good mauling team.

"We just have to put this behind us and focus on the game against Free State that awaits us [this coming] Saturday."

Human felt that with Griquas and Cheetahs knowing each other well, desire may well be the decisive factor.

"Definitely, the team that wants it the most will get the spoils."

By Jan de Koning

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 9 9 0 0 43
Blue Bulls 9 7 0 2 34
Western Province 9 6 0 3 30
Free State Cheetahs 9 3 1 5 21
Sharks 9 4 0 5 19
Pumas 9 3 1 5 16
EP Kings 9 2 0 7 12
Griquas 9 1 0 8 8