Beware the giant killers

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 06:58
Large griquas v sharks 2 630 Large jp nel griquas630 Large griquas v sharks 630

Griquas, the Cinderella team of the Currie Cup competition, will hope to continue their giant killing act when they take on the Sharks.

Griquas, the Cinderella team of the Currie Cup competition, will hope to continue their giant killing act when they take on the Sharks.

The men from Kimberley may have won just four of their nine games this season, but three of those wins were against the two top teams in the competition.

In fact they could complete a rare whitewash when they travel to Durban on Friday.

They have beaten the defending champion Lions twice already this season, both huge upsets according to the pundits, while they also upstaged the Sharks in Kimberley earlier in the season. Their fourth win was against the Blue Bulls.

If they are victorious in Durban on Friday they will have whitewashed both the table-topping Sharks and second-placed Lions in the same season ... a rare feat indeed.

Those victories have confirmed what Griquas have been saying all season, when they play to their true potential they can beat any team on the day.

Griquas coach Pote Human is well aware that Friday's trip is an all-or-nothing affair.

"A win could give us a place in the semifinals and defeat could mean the next week we play promotion-relegation match [against the Eastern Province Kings]," Human told this website.

"Having said that, the Sharks are at home and are determined to remain first on the Currie Cup standings to get a possible home Final [if they advance past the semifinals].

"They are getting a number of Springboks back that will strengthen them considerably, so we are well aware of the enormity of the challenge."

Human dismissed the notion that the return of the Boks could be disruptive to the Sharks, as was the case last year when a settled Lions team easily dismantled them in the Final.

"I doubt it [the returning Boks] will be an issue," Human said, adding: "They are good enough and very hungry.

"Some of those guys played very little [during the Rugby Championship] and will be keen to get some game time."

He knows that as was the case in most games this season, nobody is giving them a chance to beat the Sharks in Durban.

"However, we will go out there and give it our best shot," the Griquas coach said, adding that they managed to overcome the odds by beating the Lions (twice), Sharks and Bulls already this season.

"It is a fact that if we play to our true potential we can beat any team on the day.

"We showed last Saturday, to come back from 0-15 and give the Lions a hiding was something truly special.

"We must retain that momentum and have the same discipline. We conceded very few penalties and our defence was much, much better ... except for the first 20 minutes, but after that our defence was outstanding.

"Against the Sharks our defence will have to be flawless to have a chance of victory."

Human confirmed that veteran centre JP Nel dislocated his finger against the Lions and underwent surgery this week.

He will be sidelined for four weeks and won't feature again this season.

However, loose forward Wesley Wilkens has recovered from his injury and is available again.

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
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Griquas 10 1 0 9 8