Kimberley – Western Province came from behind to beat Griquas 25-20 in Kimberley on Saturday building some much-needed momentum for the rest of the Currie Cup competition.
Griquas dominated physically in the first 40 minutes, scoring two early tries forcing Western Province to change their mindset in the second half.
“Griquas were very good in the first half and put us under immense pressure,” said WP coach Allister Coetzee.
“We couldn't get into the game and that was worrying.
“People always underestimate Griquas, but they are a formidable side at home and we saw that again today.”
Their next game is against the Lions in Johannesburg next week and hard work lies ahead for the Capetonians if they want to come out on top.
“Our line outs and scrums weren't always that good, so we need to attend to that as well as some other areas we will also be looking at,” he said.
“We know the Lions will pose a huge threat and for that reason we can ill-afford not to be at our best.”
Eighthman Duane Vermeulen made his comeback for Province after a lengthy injury and, although he only played the first half, Coetzee was confident the burly enforcer would be available for the clash against the Lions.
“Duane did very well. He came through the 40 minutes without any problem and looks set to play a big role for us in the next week or two,” Coetzee said.
Despite a lacklustre first half the visitors fought back against Griquas and scored two tries thanks to centre JP du Plessis and prop Steven Kitshoff.
The visitors also kicked better at goal in a swirling wind that blew the whole afternoon.
“I am proud of the guys. Yes, they got a tongue lashing at half time, but they came out and played with a lot more intensity,” said Coetzee.
“It was a learning curve for the youngsters in our team and what better side than Griquas to learn such valuable lessons.”
Griquas struggled to regain composure in the second half and could not produce the same attacking play which saw then in control earlier in the game.
They did, however, fight to the very end to earn a bonus point for losing with less than seven points after replacement lock Jaco Nepgen burst over the line just before the final whistle.
“We played some entertaining rugby in the first half and were pretty physical on the attack as well as defence,” Griquas coach Pote Human said afterwards.
“But we couldn't continue that same form in the second half.
“We had one soft moment where we allowed Province to score and that ultimately cost us.
“There is much to work on before we take on the Free State Cheetahs next week, but for now we are content with the bonus point.” – Sapa