With nothing left but pride to play for, Griquas coach Dawie Theron hopes his battered charges can find it in them to get up for one more big Bull-fight in the Currie Cup.
The defending champion Blue Bulls will arrive in Kimberley on Saturday determined to collect a full-house five points against Griquas and in the process keep alive their hopes of hosting a semifinal.
And the Griquas coach is under no illusion as to just how tall an order it will be to overcome the start-studded visiting outfit – who welcomed back a ghost of Springbok players this week.
“I truly hope the [Griquas] players will be up for it mentally,” Theron told rugby365.com, when asked about facing a near full-strength Bulls team chasing home ground advantage in the play-offs.
His own team, with nothing more than a remote, mathematical shot at the play-offs, will be playing for “pride” only.
“I trust the players still have the hunger to win a big one,” Theron said, adding: “I see this as the first game of our new season… the 2011 season.”
He admitted that it will be a charged-up Bulls side arriving in Kimberley
“However, this is a home game for us and we have to perform on our home turf,” he said, adding that their narrow (one-point) defeat to the Bulls at Loftus almost two months ago was a loss that “really hurt”.
“But there is no doubt it will be a very different Bulls team that will arrive this week and we will have to produce our ‘A-Game’,” he said.
The Bulls have also made no secret of the fact that they want to take the full five points away from Kimberley.
“Firstly, we need to go win that game as we are still not in a semifinal,” said Bulls captain Victor Matfield – one of a host of Bok stars recalled to the Bulls line-up ahead of this weekend.
“It’s a very important game for us… It’s never easy in Kimberley, so it’s going to be tough and we will have to be at our best.”
2007: Griquas won 26-18, Kimberley
2007: Blue Bulls won 46-3, Pretoria
2008: Blue Bulls won 41-12, Pretoria
2008: Blue Bulls won 58-22, Kimberley
2009: Blue Bulls won 25-24, Kimberley
2009: Blue Bulls won 61-27, Pretoria
2010: Blue Bulls won 39-38, Pretoria
rugby365.com Prediction: As Griquas coach Dawie Theron said, you should not be under any illusion as to the goals of the Blue Bulls. A comprehensive win and five points are the minimum requirement. While Griquas have the potential to cause an upset, the Bulls appear to have far too much class… not to mention the play-off factor. This should be a comfortable Blue Bulls victory – 15 points at least.
Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Rocco Jansen, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Naas Olivier (captain), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Wesley Wilkins, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Cecil Kemp, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Jean Botha, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Gerhard Human, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Wilmaure Louw, 22 Rudi Vogt.
Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Danie Rossouw, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Derick Kuün, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Jaco Engels, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Ruan Snyman, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter.
Date: Saturday, October 9
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, D Haasbroek
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee
This article is courtesy of rugby365.comTweet