The players from Griqualand West won’t be intimidated by Willem de Waal when they take on Western Province on Friday afternoon at the GWK Park in their Currie Cup match.
Gerdie Karstens writes for Sport24.
Due to windy conditions, accurate place-kicking at GWK Park is a big challenge for visiting teams.
WP flyhalf De Waal will be playing against the home team’s Riaan Viljoen (fullback) and Naas Olivier (flyhalf) – both men have been on top form in the Currie Cup thus far.
WP will expect their flyhalf to put the unbeaten team from Kimberly under pressure with his kicking boot. But whether De Waal will be able to do this under difficult conditions, is an open question.
The former Springbok and Griquas centre, Edrich Lubbe, believes a fifth victory is possible for the home team if they are able to take down De Waal.
Lubbe believes Griquas’ home field advantage could count in their favour when it comes to kicking the ball. “Naas and Riaan practice their
kicks in windy conditions and will know which kicks work where on the field.”
“Willem has proven himself tactically as kicker, but it will still take him a while before he is totally comfortable in the conditions,” said Lubbe, who in his day was a good place-kicker.
“WP’s game pattern relies heavily on Willem’s kicking abilities. If Griquas are able to disrupt his (De Waal’s) game, then it will change the WP’s mode of attack and place him under much pressure.
Willem doesn’t like the physical element of the game. If Griquas give him less space and time to kick and physically unnerve him, he will struggle to get going. In that respect our scrumhalf and flyhalf – in particular Sarel Pretorius (scrumhalf) – will play a big part.”
If the team from the Northern Cape want to reach De Waal, they will first have to get pass the visitors’ forwards.
De Waal “hides” behind experienced men like Luke Watson (eighth man and captain), Duane Vermeulen (flank) and Brock Harris (prop).
“Our forwards will have to put Province’s forwards under pressure. We won’t be able to put pressure on Willem if we are on the back foot,” said Lubbe.Tweet