JOHANNESBURG - Kimberley may be famous for its diamonds, but it is known to have been the death trap for many prospectors seeking rich rewards from its abundant natural resources.
Historically that has been the same with its rugby as many big name teams have often met their demise having expected easy pickings of the Griquas team in Currie Cup seasons gone past.
Griquas' horrid start to their Currie Cup campaign - which has seen them suffer heavy defeats to the Golden Lions and Pumas - further entrenches the notion that they are the competition’s whipping boys, but the Blue Bulls are not falling for that.
Having also fallen victim to the ambush by the Griquas in seasons past, the Bulls are very much wary of the danger that awaits them in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon. And with this being Griquas first home game of the season, Blue Bulls coach Pote Human has warned his side not to assume that the result is a foregone conclusion.
Of course Human would know what it is that Griquas can do, having coached in Kimberley for a number of seasons after being deemed surplus to requirements at Loftus Versfeld. But the Bulls cannot afford to take any side lightly in the competition after enduring their fair share of upheavals in the wake of their two consecutive losses against the Sharks and Golden Lions.
The men from the capital find themselves in a do-or-die situation where they are forced to win their remaining matches against Griquas, the Pumas and Western Province if they are to make the play-offs.
Besides the history and difficulty of winning in Kimberley, they will also be faced with an equally desperate Griquas side who want to kick-start their campaign while still harbouring chances of making the semi-finals if they, too, win their four matches.
Message from our Tafel Lager Griqua Player, Kevin Kaba for the Currie Cup clash between Tafel Lager Griquas and Vodacom Blue Bulls tomorrow at 14:15.— Griquas Rugby (@GriquasRugby) September 7, 2018
Hope to see you there!#TogetherWeAre #Bigger #Better #Stronger#TafelLagerGriquas pic.twitter.com/tdALySesJL
“I coached Griquas and I know what is waiting for us. They will target their home games and this is their first home game of the season. We lost last week Saturday so we have to somewhere get points back so it is going to be huge for us. But I know they will be ready for us. We need to have a great start because if they see that they are in the game, it is going to be tough,” said Human.
Griquas team: AJ Coertzen, Ederies Arendse, Kyle Steyn (captain), Andrew Swarts, Enver Brandt, George Whitehead, Christiaan Meyer, Conway Pretorius, Sias Koen, Eital Bredenkamp, Pieter Jansen van Vuren, Sintu Manjezi, Nicolaas Oosthuizen, Khwezi Mkhafu, Devon Martinus. Replacements: Wilmar Arnoldi, Ruan Kamer, Wandile Putuma, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, Zak Burger, Christopher Bosch, Tythan Adams
Blue Bulls team: Divan Rossouw, Jade Stighling, Franco Naude, JT Jackson, Duncan Matthews, Manie Libbok, Andre Warner, Hanro Liebenberg (captain), Nic de Jager, Ruan Steenkamp, Eli Snyman, Hendré Stassen, Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Matthys Basson. Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Ruan Nortje, Jano Venter, Ivan van Zyl, 21 Tinus de Beer, Dylan Sage.
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Nico Schmahl
TMO: JJ Wagner