Griquas woke up the 'sleeping giant'

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 16:39
Large jacques coetzee griquas scr Large pote human points 630 Large jean stemmet griquas charge Large leon karemaker griquas 630

Griquas did nobody any favours when they beat the Golden Lions in Johannesburg just over a month ago.

Griquas did themselves, and the rest of the teams in the Currie Cup competition, no favours when they beat the Golden Lions in Johannesburg just over a month ago.

That loss, one of just two suffered by the defending champions this season, proved to be the turning point in the season for the Lions.

This coming Saturday Griquas will welcome them to Kimberley, but they know that a good measure of "revenge" will be on the menu for the visitors.

Griquas, fresh off a disappointing 20-35 loss to the Free State Cheetahs, are determined to keep their fading play-off hopes alive.

But that will require an even bigger upset than the 42-32 shock win over the Lions in August.

Griquas coach Pote Human, who admitted a poor first half cost his team against the Cheetahs last week, said they can't afford a repeat of the soft moments that have cost them so far this season.

"There is still hope [of a play-off spot], but the Lions are on a high and they are playing outstanding rugby," Human told this website.

"To beat Western Province [22-9] at Newlands [last week] show they are on a mission.

"It will require an enormous effort to beat them."

Human said his team will also have to play much better than they did when they beat the Lions the last time.

"In all fairness, their defence wasn't great when we played them at Ellis Park and in that regard they have made huge strides," Human told this website.

"Their defence is outstanding at the moment.

"We will have to be much better than we were at Ellis Park ... we can't think that because we are playing in Kimberley it will just happen. We will have to go out hard, be physically up for it and ensure our ball retention is top notch."

He said it was as if they had woken up the sleeping giant with that win in Johannesburg.

"Since that game [on August 31] they have not lost again," Human said, adding: "They have shown why they are the defending Currie Cup champions.

"After everything they went through [losing their Super Rugby status], they are determined to prove a point to everybody and retain the Currie Cup trophy.

"We are under no illusion as to the enormity of the task facing us."

Human said his team has a couple of minor worries - with prop Janro van Niekerk struggling with a knee injury, while loose forward Whestley Wilkens took a knock to the leg against the Cheetahs.

However, he felt they should both be fine and fit to face the Lions.

By Jan de Koning

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8