Griquas coach Dawie Theron says he is not surprised by his team’s Currie Cup table-topping position, as the early pace-setters head toward the second round of the domestic competition.
Griquas are sitting pretty at the top of the Currie Cup log with five wins from their five hit-outs and 23 log points. The Kimberley outfit will host the Blue Bulls this weekend before finishing the first round against the Sharks a week later.
Theron says his team’s ability to build on their Vodacom Cup success has been one of they key factors in their recent Currie Cup form and they now have a rare opportunity of being real title contenders.
“We knew that we had to build on the momentum from the Vodacom Cup,” Theron told rugby365.com’s Ebrahim Moerat on Tuesday.
“We are very happy with the standings at the moment. We are not surprised, we knew that we could do it. We worked very hard to be here. [But] It’s still early days and there’s still a lot of rugby to be played.
“It’s been a very long time since Griquas had this opportunity so we want to keep the momentum going.”
Several Griquas players have stepped into the spotlight this season with Western Province discard Naas Olivier re-launching his career with the current logleaders. Olivier currently tops the individual point-scoring stakes with 69 points which includes two tries. He, along with skipper Jonathan Mokuena, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, Vodacom Cup hero Riaan Viljoen and Emerging Bok wing Bjorn Basson have spearheaded the Griquas campaign this season.
“He’s [Mokuena] a brilliant guy and a great captain. He’s very professional,” Theron said of his skipper.
“Guys like Sarel came through this year and Naas re-launched his career here and he’s doing great work for us at the moment. Bjorn and Riaan are also excellent players. I believe it’s ‘not the place that makes the man but the man that makes the place’.
“The guys are happy to be here. They play for each other and they play for the jersey.”
The Blue Bulls will be smarting on the back of their loss to the Free State Cheetahs and Theron is under no illusions of the challenge at hand
“The Bulls are the Super 14 champions despite missing a few players in the Currie Cup. They lost against Free State and they will go all out to get [log] points against us,” Theron said.
“We have to contain their kicking game but we’ve also been working hard on our kicking game. I think defence will also be key on Saturday.”
Theron did reveal that his charges will be aiming to make the most of the homeground advantage. “Kimberly [GWK Stadium] is very important for us. People are buying back into the Griquas supporters base. There’s a lot of pride coming back and it will be tough for any team to come to Kimberley. ”
However, his team’s preparations for this important Currie Cup showdown has been disrupted due to seasonal, with half dozen players battling to recover in time for Saturday’s fixture. But an the upbeat coach is hoping that the extended break will have a positive spin-off.
“We are in a very difficult week as our preparations for the Bulls game can’t get underway. We have six guys down with flu. We’ve also got Sarel Pretorius and Ruan Du Preez with slight injuries. So we’ll only start our training on Wednesday,” Theron explained.
“But I believe that the guys will be ready to go. Maybe the few days’ rest might be a good thing.”Tweet