robdylan

Griquas the side to watch


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Vodacom Cup on 14 Feb 2011 at 14:00
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One would expect them to be in disarray, given that their regular coach has just left to take up the Baby Bok job and most of their “big name” stars are in the Cheetahs squad, but Griquas are showing some ominous form ahead of the 2011 Vodacom Cup.

Dawie Theron is no longer on the scene and I will admit wondering whether all that has been built in Kimberley over the last few years might start to crumble without the enigmatic coach in the setup. Griquas has never been a particularly fashionable place to play rugby, but over the last few years they have emerged as regular Currie Cup contenders and under Theron have generally managed to field a side capable of grinding out a win against even the biggest of names in Kimberley. Hell, they even beat the Sharks in the opening game of last year’s Currie Cup, not to forget the fact that Bjorn Basson went on to comprehensively smash the record for most tries in a Currie Cup season.

There are, of course, a number of names lined up to succeed Theron as the full-time coach, with John Connolly the biggest of them. Firming that up will take a while, though and it’s Abrie Minnie who will operate as caretaker coach for the Vodacom Cup, ably assisted by Anton Leonard, Ollie le Roux and Edrich Lubbe. The squad hasn’t changed much, save for the departure of Basson (to the Bulls) and one or two others. There have been a few off-season gains from the cape club ranks, coupled with the retention of former Sharks in Justin Downey and Jean Stemmet.

In their two warm-up games to date, though, Griquas have utterly annihilated both the Cheetahs and the Eagles, with their pack (and loose forwards in particular) proving damn near unstoppable. Wesley Wilkins scored 5 tries all on his own against the Cheetahs, with Leon Karemaker (4) and Justin Downey (3) also helping themselves to plenty of scores against the men from George. Early days yet, of course, but it looks like Griquas mean serious business this Vodacom Cup.



30 Comments

  • Leon Karemaker?Is that the same Leon Karemaker that was supposed to blow up Cape rugby a few years ago, I thought he had some major issues with his eyesight.

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.02.11 14:12:43 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • Sounds promising… Will be interesting to keep an eye on the developments.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.02.11 14:14:54 by Crock Reply

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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : it’s the same guy.

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.02.11 14:15:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 1) : though I wasn’t aware of any eyesight problems.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.02.11 14:17:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Weird, I had heard he had quit all rugby not too long ago because of his eyesight.Wonder how they sorted that out, but stoked for him that he did.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.02.11 14:17:50 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : I’m sure Charlie will back me up on that.

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.02.11 14:19:26 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 5) : ok – I just found out.

    The dude got diabetes and it did affect his eyes quite badly. Seems Griquas have found a way around it, though.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.02.11 14:32:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • For a while now, Leon Karemaker has been heeding an inner voice insisting he make a fist of professional rugby despite all evidence to the contrary.

    The defiant voice first piped up when the Griquas No8 was diagnosed with a rare degenerative eye disease, Stargardt Syndrome, in 2003.

    The syndrome is caused by a group of inherited diseases that results in light-sensitive cells in the retina deteriorating, particularly where fine focusing occurs. Central vision loss occurs, while peripheral vision is usually retained.

    Or as Karemaker put it: “The difference between you and me is that you can focus with your eyes, but I have a black spot in the middle. I’ve still got my peripheral vision and because I rely on it, it’s quite advanced.”

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.02.11 14:35:33 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • Seems he has diabetes and Stargardt Syndrome.Huge respect to this dude.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.02.11 14:38:04 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 9) : jeez, and then some. I know how hard it can be trying to make your way through life with bad eyesight – and my condition isn’t (thank God) degenerative. I could never imagine trying to make it as a professional sportsman…

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.02.11 14:47:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan: johan de bruyn (bok lock of the 70s) was blind in the one eye..had to play with a glass eye!
    Interesting story about him and gordon brown and a line-out incident..

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.02.11 15:00:04 by bergshark Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Makes my complaints about shinsplints and sore knees sound stupid

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.02.11 15:03:45 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @bergshark (Comment 11) : Eenoog de Bruyn and Broon fae Troon :)

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.02.11 15:07:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 12) : we all have our cross

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.02.11 15:08:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • Leon Karemaker was in the Griquas team last year. I remembered watching him play for SA u19 in PMB many moons ago when Pierre Spies was still a wing and Richardt Strauss a flank (and Brussow somehow not in the team). His eye problem was a headline story a few months after that. I wonder how he recovered because all indications were that he was going to end up blind :?:

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.02.11 15:15:59 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : I think the game vs Freestate C team was a few weeks ago. One of the names that stood out was Adriaan Theisinger. He was a really good schoolboy player but never really cut it as a Sharks junior. However he can still play u21 this year so sad that we lost some depth with his departure.

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.02.11 15:18:49 by beet Reply
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  • “comprehensibly”…!? :shock:

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.02.11 15:24:56 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 16) : I don’t think it’s much of a loss, to be honest. Theissinger was in our ranks for going on 3 years and never played more than about 15 minutes of rugby in total. I just don’t think he had what it took upstairs.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.02.11 15:25:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 15) : Theres a timeslive article that gives a bit more info on what happened to him.Just google leon karemaker eyesight and you will get it.

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.02.11 15:25:43 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 17) : atrocious malapropism on my part. Thanks for pointing it out!

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.02.11 15:27:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 19) : Thanks I tried that last year when I say him playing for Griquas. Was unsuccessful. :oops:

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.02.11 15:28:38 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : He seemed to lack intensity when I watched him. I thought he may have been carrying injuries that prevented him from delivering. 1 year can make a big difference tho. But I agree with you, from what I saw he looked like he’d be joining the stat of players retiring after u21.

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.02.11 15:31:32 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 21) : mail me clayton at sharksworld dot co dot za

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.02.11 15:34:58 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @beet: what became of his older brother?(Theissinger).he had quite a short stint at the sharks..inside centre..

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.02.11 15:46:05 by bergshark Reply

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  • Berndt. Played for the Leopards last year

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.02.11 16:01:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @bergshark (Comment 24) : Bernd Theisinger was with the Leopards and was with the Cheetahs before that. Last year Vrystaat have Sarel Pretorius’ bro and Tian’s less talented sibling Hercu who looks like his identical twin and now plays for the Shimlas in Varsity Cup. A lot of less talented brothers in one squad.

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.02.11 16:08:04 by beet Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : Oops sorry I’m a bit behind on the Theisinger thing.
    As a former “Tuks of Niks”er do you know how your rivals the Shimlas got their name. Is it from a warcry or something :?:

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.02.11 16:10:31 by beet Reply
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  • @beet: thanks.so it seems as if bernd’s career as pro rugby player is over??

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.02.11 16:10:52 by bergshark Reply

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  • @robdylan: thanks for info.

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.02.11 16:13:28 by bergshark Reply

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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 19) : geez I read that article. Have a lot of respect for this guy, it really can’t be easy. Wow! Hope he does well, he certainly deserves it.

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.02.11 05:35:55 by Ben Reply
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