Griquas bulls eye boosts Currie Cup playoff chances
PRETORIA – A rare win over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria launched Griquas into the lead on the Currie Cup log and within reach of a home semi-final.
The Peacock Blues’ comprehensive 37-15 win over one of the heavyweights of South African rugby boosted their chances of reaching the playoffs.
It was an impressive turnaround from their 68-14 demolition at the hands of the Cheetahs a week ago.
Griquas coach Brent Janse van Rensburg affirmed his coaching credentials with a rare victory over the Blue Bulls at home.
“It was a good response coming off last week, you worry about draining the mental energy in the group after a game like that,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“So it was nice to see the guys stand up and fight tonight.”
While the Blue Bulls faced a possible promotion-relegation playoff, Griquas were rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of earning a home semi-final.
“I certainly believe we have the potential to get to a playoff, everyone has the belief within the group, and it is certainly something we would like to achieve,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“We also appreciate in a short competition like this things can change pretty dramatically from week to week. We are far away from it, and we still have two games to play, and we need to be accurate.”
Blue Bulls coach Pote Human labelled his side’s home defeat to Griquas a ‘disgrace’ after it effectively ended their Currie Cup playoff hopes.
Languishing in the last place on the log with two more matches to play, Human said they were unlikely to make the top-four in this year’s truncated competition. “This leaves us rock bottom, we are last on the log now, and it is going to be a struggle to get out of there,” Human said.
“We have the Golden Lions that are unbeaten next week and the Sharks in the last game. We are definitely out of the running, I don’t think we can make it for the semis, and it is just for pride now.”
The Blue Bulls did have a slim, mathematical chance of making the playoffs, provided they win all their matches on bonus points and a few other results aided them. They were currently trailing the fourth-place Western Province by two points, but the Capetonians have a game in hand.
Their biggest concern at this stage is to get out of the last place where they find themselves in a promotion-relegation position.
“It is a huge disappointment, and it was a disgrace, Griquas really came here to win. If you consider 22 of our 23 were Super Rugby players, so there are no excuses,” Human said.
“I should maybe have a hard look at myself and my selections and take it from there.”@ockertde