Preview: Griquas v Pumas, Round 1

Thu, 17 Oct 2013 20:41
Large willie le roux griquas run Large corn  steenkamp pumas team Large ryno barnes with currie cup Large pumas celebrate2 Large ryno barnes leads griquas Large jimmy stonehouise points Large pote human gestures

While four teams are gearing for the main prize, the coveted Currie Cup, two other sides are in a desperate scrap for their very survival.

While four teams are gearing for the main prize, the coveted Currie Cup, two other sides are in a desperate scrap for their very survival.

Griquas coach Pote Human likened his team's two-match promotion-relegation series against Pumas to "the most important game" his players will ever play.

It starts in Kimberley on Friday and conclude in Nelspruit a week later.

Just ask the Southern Kings what the consequences of their heartbreaking two-point (42-44 on aggregate) loss to the Lions was in their Super Rugby promotion-relegation matches July.

The mass exodus of players and coaches robbed the team of so much dept they even failed to defend their First Division title against the Pumas in last week's Final.

Yes, for the loser it is a catastrophic outcome.

As that classic proverb states: 'To the victor go the spoils.'

Yes, there is a drive to enlarge the Currie Cup to eight teams, but as both coaches - Pote Human (Griquas) and Jimmy Stonehouse (Pumas) - said this week, it is not a chance either can take.

And getting a jump-start, as the Lions did on the Kings, is vital in Friday's opening fixture.

"We simply cannot afford a loss at our home ground to the Pumas," Human said, adding: "That will put us in a very difficult situation that we really don't want to be in.

"To beat the Pumas in Nelspruit will be a huge ask. Therefore we need to produce the goods on Friday."

As a result Human will field his best available team.

Last week, in their final league match, he rested half of his frontline players and it is a decision he hopes will pay dividends.

"The guys who got a break last week are full of energy again and a guy like [returning Springbok] Willie [le Roux] brings a very positive attitude to the team," the Griquas mentor said.

While most teams tend to go the conservative route in play-offs, Human said they will remain adventurous in their approach.

"That is what Griquas are renowned for," Human said, adding: "If we try to deviate from what we have done well, we'll get ourselves into trouble. We will stick with what we can do well.

"If we want to change our gameplan with a player like Willie [le Roux] in the team, it would mean we'll be shooting ourselves in the foot .

"He provides the strike power."

Pumas mentor Jimmy Stonehouse admitted the tempo will be much higher than what it was for them in the First Division.

"They [Currie teams] stay out of the rucks a lot," Stonehouse said.

"That [rucks] is a lot different from the First Division to the Premier Division. The First Division [teams] put a lot more players into the rucks."

He also rated Griquas as one of the teams with the best scrums in the Currie Cup competition.

"It didn't matter if it was against Western Province or the Sharks, they always scrummed well," the Pumas mentor said.

He felt scrums are where Griquas will attack them, especially after the Pumas struggled in the scrums against the Eastern Province Kings last week.

"We have worked with [World Cup-winning former Springbok prop and renowned scrum doctor] Balie Swart on it this week, but we know they will target us in the scrums."

Stonehouse made one crucial change to his team, drafting in veteran prop Ivann Espag, a player know for his scrumming ability.

"We do prefer a more mobile prop, but we have brought him in," Stonehouse said, adding: "We feel if we can get the upper hand in that regard we will be fine as we will be able to hold our own in other aspects of the game."

The Pumas' approach will be to make as few mistakes as possible, play in the right areas of the field and take the points when they are available.

"We can't afford to play a high-risk game," the coach said.

"It is a play-off game and if we want to get to the top [Currie Cup status] we have to do the right things at the right time."

Prediction: The Pumas are right about one thing, the pace with which Griquas play will be a couple of steps up from anything they have experienced this year. However, the Pumas are not a team to be sneezed at. If Griquas are not on top of their game this could be a big upset. However, we feel Griquas will just have too much gas in the tack and take a 10-point lead into the second game in Nelspruit next week by winning in Kimberley.


Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Rynhardt Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Janro van Niekerk, 18 Patrick O'Brien, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 JP Nel, 22 Nico Scheepers.

Pumas: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 JW Bell, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Speck man, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 RW Kember, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5 Eduan Van Der Walt, 4 Rudi Matthee, 3 Ivann Espag, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Vincent Koch, 18 De-Jay Terblanche, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20, Uzair Cassiem, 21 JC Roos, 22 Dewald Pretorius.

Date: Friday, October 18
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Expected weather: There may be increasing clouds through Friday, but the ain is not expected to arrive till Saturday. High of 27°C and a low of 10°C
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Johan Greeff

By Jan de Koning

Crusaders vs Chiefs
sast: 08h35 | local: 19h35

  • 0 | 0
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
Leinster v Scarlets 20 | 13
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26