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Rugby

Griquas want to get back on the horse

───   MORGAN PIEK 08:50 Thu, 11 Jul 2024

Griquas want to get back on the horse | News Article
Lubabalo Dobela - Griquas/Louis Botha Fotografie

“What was nice about this first game is, you know, it's not SA Cup or Airlink Cup anymore and it's important that we make the step up to the Currie Cup. So, I think it was a good wake up call for us and there are no easy games in the Currie Cup.”

The Suzuki Griquas have made two changes to their starting XV for Friday’s Currie Cup second round fixtures against the Sharks in Kimberley.

In the second row, Athenkosi Khetani, replaces Dylan Sjoblom, at lock. Sjoblom moves to the bench.

In the backlines, Lubabalo Dobela, has been promoted from the bench to flyhalf at the expense of the experienced George Whitehead.

The former North West Eagles pivot, Zinedine Robinson, comes onto the bench for his debut and to provide cover as the backline marshall.

The Griquas opted for a six-two split on the bench with an extra forward coming on in the form of Derik Pretorius, while the centre Tertius Kruger, makes way.

The Griquas will be targeting their first win of the competition after they suffered a 44-24 opening round defeat to the Pumas last week.

The Sharks in turn want to set the record straight after they were narrowly beaten by the Lions in Durban during round one.

The Griquas assistant coach, Franco van der Merwe, said it’s not panic-stations in the camp year, but they have to dust themselves off and get back on the horse.

“What was nice about this first game is, you know, it's not SA Cup or Airlink Cup anymore and it's important that we make the step up to the Currie Cup,” said the former Springbok and Lions lock.

“So, I think it was a good wake up call for us and there are no easy games in the Currie Cup.

“It's important that we get back on the horse. We've had a great week so far.

“We had a few good sessions and I think it's one thing, and that's just to get our mindsets ready for this weekend.”

The Griquas will be tested by a Sharks team that has been bolstered with several Springboks in the form of Ntuthuko Mchunu, Trevor Nyakane, André Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi, while Phepsi Buthelezi was in the Boks camp for the Ireland series.

Friday’s round two clash at the Suzuki Stadium in Kimberley kicks off at 15:00.

Griquas - 15 Cameron Hufke, 14 Marcqiewn Titus, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 11 Sako Makata, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Thomas Bursey, 8 Hanru Sirgel, 7 Marco de Witt, 6 Stephan Smit (captain), 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Athenkosi Khetani, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Leon Lyons.

Replacements - 16 Gustav du Rand, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Cebo Dlamini, 19 Dylan Sjoblom, 20 Derik Pretorius, 21 Carl Els, 22 Bobby Alexander, 23 Zinedine Robinson

Sharks - 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Muller du Plessis, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Bradley Davids, 8 Nick Hatton (captain), 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 Tino Mavesere, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Coetzee le Roux, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu

Replacements - 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Abraham Reyneke, 18 Khwezi Mona, 19 Reinier Viljoen, 20 Jannes Potgieter, 21 Tiaan Fourie, 22 Murray Koster, 23 Eduan Keyter.

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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