Griquas: The 'almost' team
Griquas: The 'almost' teamSHARE
Griquas run the risk of being the 'almost' team of South Africa.
Griquas coach Pote Human admitted it was becoming increasingly difficult to motivate his players, following their 13-19 loss to Western Province at Newlands last Friday.
The teams scored one try each and Griquas launched a powerful late raid on the WP line, searching for a winning score, but as was the case in numerous other matches they just could not get over the whitewash.
"It is tough to keep the guys motivated if, week-after-week, you just fail to make it," Human said.
"In five of our [seven] games we have now picked up a losing bonus point [for finishing within seven points]. At the end of the day it is just not good enough."
He admitted that a lack of confidence is his team's biggest downfall at present – having lost two games by one point, another by just two points and another two by six points.
"We are not playing like a team who believes we can win," the Griquas mentor said, adding: "If you continue to lose close games like this all the time, the guys start doubting themselves.
"We do need a good win to lift the guys," he said, pointing to their Round Eight encounter with the Blue Bulls in Kimberley next week as the ideal place to turn it all around.
It is a game that could go a long way towards deciding who will contest the promotion-relegation matches with the First Division winners at the end of the season.
Human said his team had planned to play a kicking game in the monsoon-like conditions at Newlands.
"However, our execution wasn't very good.
"In the first half we did well, but in the second half we struggled and defended for most of the half – we just couldn't get out of our half.
"When we did get close there at the end we almost pulled it off," he said, adding that he was "proud" of the team.
"Under the conditions I think they showed a lot of character.
"Our defence was very good – we made one mistake and they scored a try.
"As I have said, there is enough guts, passion and effort."
Flyhalf Francois Brummer is struggling with a knee injury that has been troubling him for some time and he was in discomfort during and after the match.
He hobbled off 10 minutes into the second half and would be on the doubtful list ahead of the visit by the Bulls this coming Saturday.
Prop Nick Schonert took a blow to the head and will be assessed this coming week.
"Otherwise we are fortunate that nobody else got seriously injured." the coach said.
By Jan de Koning