Griquas don't rely on home comforts

Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:44
Large hawies fourie gestures

INTERVIEW: Griquas will not rely on home ground advantage, but rather the quality of their game to secure them another Currie Cup upset over the Sharks.

Griquas will not rely on home ground advantage, but rather the quality of their game to secure them another Currie Cup upset over the Sharks.

The men from Kimberley will host their rivals from Durban in a first-round match on Saturday, as they look to build on the success of having re-qualified for South Africa's premier domestic competition.

New Griquas coach Hawies Fourie, speaking to rugby365 in the build-up to Saturday's showdown, said they are determined not to be involved in a promotion-relegation series again.

Griquas, who lost their Currie Cup status to the Pumas in a two-match series last year, was handed a lifeline when the South African Rugby Union expanded the competition from six to eight teams this year.

And they edged the Leopards by a solitary point to claim the vacant eighth spot, with the Eastern Province Kings having been confirmed as team No.7 earlier.

"The most important goal is to finish in the top six [of the Currie Cup competition], because we will avoid having to go through the qualifying process again next year," Fourie said.

"The second is to play in the semifinals," he said, adding: "We feel our team is good enough.

"Injuries will always play a major role at a [small] union like Griquas, but if we are fortunate with that [injuries] and play good rugby then we have a reasonable chance of doing it [reaching the play-offs]."

Griquas certainly have an interesting track record against the Sharks  in Kimberley - having beaten them in three of their last visits, to go along with a Griquas win in Durban last year.

Fourie said that while there are good reasons why the Sharks struggle when making the trip to the capital of the Northern Cape Province.

"It is more a case of the Sharks that are not really comfortable with travelling to Kimberley," Fourie told rugby365 when asked about their record against the men from Durban.

"It is not an easy trip - they fly [from Durban] to Bloemfontein and then have to undertake a bus trip to Kimberley. The field is harder than what they are used to, the stands are smaller and there are not as many spectators.

"Those are factors that do have an effect their players."

However, they will not rely on these 'home comforts' to secure the win.

"We have said we are not going to target specific games or aim to just win home games," the Griquas coach said.

"We have set a goal of winning all our games," he said, adding: "We are certainly not focusing more on homes games than away games."

By Jan de Koning

Rebels vs Blues
sast: 10h45 | local: 19h45

  • 12 | 8
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1