JOHANNESBURG - Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana is wary of the desperate Warriors ahead of their Ram Slam T20 Challenge showdown at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday.
It is knockout time already for the Eastern Cape franchise when they travel upcountry with defeat to the hosts a non-option as it will almost certainly end their interest in the competition.
Toyana knows the stakes are high.
“We’ve got two home matches coming, on Friday and on Sunday, the Warriors first and then the Knights,” he said. “The focus first will be on the Warriors, who have their backs even further to the wall.
“All the teams are close and they did beat us in Cape Town, so we can’t take them lightly. We need to go out there and make sure we get the result we need.”
The Lions did have to undergo an annoying trip to Durban during the week when their match against the Dolphins was washed out by heavy rain.
However, the two points they secured does mean that one win from their final two games will likely put them in the semi-finals.
They currently have 14 points, the same number as the Dolphins, four fewer than the Cape Cobras and two ahead of the Knights. The Warriors are last with 10 points, while the Titans are runaway winners of the league phase of the competition with 32 points.
“Frustrations again but we can’t do much about the weather,” Toyana added. “The rain really came down in Durban and it was not possible to play.
“So it’s back to square one. I guess with the two points, it means we probably have to win just one of our games.”
For the Warriors, only a win will do in Potch, while they will also need to overcome the Cobras in East London on Sunday to have a chance of finishing in the top four.
Their captain Jon-Jon Smuts admits it will be a real battle to progress.
“Yeah (it’s a real dogfight),” he said. “It’s pretty much the Titans and we don’t know after that.
“Who knows what will happen, but we know we’ll give everything in our last two games. We have to give it a full go and leave everything out there.
“I think for us if we can get eight points it will be great and then from there we’ll just have to see what happens.”