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

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
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