Minnow scraps will be vital

Griquas will be taking nothing for granted against a battered Valke side when they head to Brakpan on Saturday.

“I suppose we understand better than anybody how a team can come back from a heavy defeat,” Griquas captain Gareth Krause told keo.co.za.

After a shaky start, Griquas turned up the heat in the second half against the Pumas and ran out comfortable winners at 60-26. A week earlier, they had suffered a humiliating 55-14 defeat at the hands of the Currie Cup champions, the Cheetahs.

“It is quite a turn around,” said Krause, “and it goes to show how we will not be taking the Valke lightly this Saturday.”

When the Pumas rushed to a 19-3 advantage in the first 25 minutes last Friday, it seemed that Griquas would be on the wrong side of yet another beating.

“We were stressing out in the first 20 or so minutes when they really came at us,” said Krause. “But I didn’t even have to say anything to my boys, they just got on with it. They realised what they needed to do to get back into the game.”

Lafras Uys was the first to initiate the Griquas fightback when he went over for the first try to the homeside. Before the halftime whistle, Griquas had added a further two tries and were within three points of the Valke at 23-26.

Inspired by flyhalf Conrad Barnard, the galvanising force in the midfield, the Griquas team destroyed the Pumas in the second half, scoring 37 unanswered points and crossing the Pumas line a further four times.

“We really clicked in that second period, and I think that the scoreline is a true reflection of how we played. We are beginning to gel as a side.”

For the minnows of this premier division competition, points are going to be hard to come by, and so specific strategies will need to be formulated if they are going to have a sniff at a playoff spot. Winning against other minnow opposition is going to be non-negotiable.

“We understand the importance of winning all your home games in this strength versus strength competition. We managed to win in Kimberley, and we’ve now built up some momentum for our next game in Brakpan where we plan to come away with four more points.”

By Jon Cardinelli