Griquas: Time to put up their hands
Griquas are condemned to a promotion-relegation series, but there is one last chance for a few individuals to make a statement.
Griquas have been condemned to a promotion-relegation series, which starts next week, but there is one last chance for a few individuals to make a statement.
The men from Kimberley travel to Johannesburg on Saturday for their final league fixture of the Currie Cup season with a team sans half their frontline players.
Coach Pote Human opted to rest seven of his frontline players, including Springbok Willie le Roux, to ensure they are fresh for the play-off matches against the Pumas on October 19 in Kimberley and October 26 in Nelspruit.
Other players rested for this week are Steph Roberts, Ryno Barnes, Marnus Schoeman, Marnus Hugo, Francois Brummer and Howard Mnisi.
Human said Saturday's showdown with the Golden Lions is an opportunity for a number of players to put their hands up and secure a spot in the team going ahead.
"In the broader scope it is an opportunity to get some confidence back and show what we can do," he said of team that has won only once this season - beating the Sharks in Week One in Durban.
Since then they have been unable to get a win, despite collecting five losing bonus points, for finishing within seven points of the opposition.
"In seven games we played really good rugby and the last two games the wheels came off," Human told this website - in reference to the 21-52 loss to the Free State Cheetahs and the 10-52 defeat at the hands of the Blue Bulls on consecutive weekends in Kimberley.
"It is time for the guys to put their hands up."
Human admitted that disappointment is a word often bandied about in Kimberley this season, given that they have come so close in a number of games, but just could not pull it off.
"The guys coming in are hungry and determined to show what they are capable of," he said, adding: "We will make life very unpleasant and uncomfortable for the Golden Lions if the players play to their potential."
He said it was mental issue, when asked what was the reason for their inability to break an eight-match losing streak.
"However, players like Ligtoring [Rynhard Landman] and [Springbok] Lourens [Adriaanse], even Willie [le Roux], who returned this week, have brought a very positive vibe to the team.
"They surprised me with how they slotted in and lifted the energy in the team.
"They are going to be vital for us on Saturday.
"They have taken over the leadership, with Lourens [Adriaanse] the captain.
"The guys are listening to them and the players know they owe themselves a good game."
By Jan de Koning