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GWK Griquas

ABSA Currie CupThe Sharks and DHL Western Province this weekend strengthened their chances of home semifinals in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls and GWK Griquas continued their struggle to make their presence felt.

With only three pool rounds remaining the Sharks and Western Province need only two more log points to cement their semifinal places, while the Blue Bulls and Griquas face a daunting task to sneak into the semifinals after each side managed to secure only a bonus point this weekend.

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ABSA Currie CupAs we enter Round 7 of the 2013 Currie Cup, WP is setting the pace at the top of the Log, with 20 Log points. The Griquas find themselves in last place with 9 Log points.

A win for the Shark and Western Province this weekend could almost assure them of a semi final spot, in this scenario the Free State Cheetahs, Golden Lions and Blue Bulls are still fighting for the last two spots. A loss for the Griquas this weekend could see them remain in last position.

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GWK GriquasPlagued by injuries to key players, GWK Griquas coach Pote Human was forced to reshuffle his starting line-up for the Absa Currie Cup encounter against DHL Western Province at Newlands on Friday evening.

Utility forward Carel Greeff has been ruled out for the next couple of weeks after he broke his hand in Griquas’ home game against the Sharks last weekend in Kimberley.

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ABSA Currie CupAs we enter Round 6 of the 2013 Currie Cup, WP is setting the pace at the top of the Log, with 16 Log points. The Griquas find themselves in last place with 8 Log points.

The Blue Bulls last week showed us that they are still a force in the competition, even having lost many players to Europe, injury and to the Springboks. It is stil a close nit affair as the difference between current leaders WP and 5th place Blue Bulls is only 6 Log points. So, a defeat for WP could see them fall down quite a few spots. The Griquas will also need to find winning ways soon, if they were to challenge for a semi final, a defeat this weekend could put this totally out of reach and probably see them end in last place.

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ABSA Currie CupDHL Western Province this weekend reclaimed the top spot on the Log in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division as the competition reached the halfway mark, establishing themselves as one of the favourites in the competition.

But with 5 rounds of matches remaining and only 6 points separating the Cape side from the 5th-placed Blue Bulls on the standings, the competition remained wide open.

Western Province delivered a fine performance to defeat the Sharks 25 / 19 in Cape Town, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls registered a 26 / 10 victory against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Pretoria and the MTN Golden Lions beat GWK Griquas 38 / 32 in Kimberley.

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ABSA Currie CupAs we enter Round 5 of the 2013 Currie Cup, there is still no clear indication as to who is the favourite team to win it this year.

The Sharks currently set the pace with 14 Log points, but they are closely followed by 2nd place Free State Cheetahs and 3rd place Western Province both on 12.

Can Western Province take the crown two years in  a row and / or can the Blue Bulls still make a great comeback. Only time will tell!

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GWK GriquasGriquas coach Pote Human wasted no time in drafting in his latest recruit, Leopards lock Victor Kruger, for the Currie Cup crunch match against the Golden Lions in Kimberley on Saturday.

The 24-year-old PUK (Potchefstroom University) Varsity Cup captain, who is affectionately known as Strand, comes in for Australian import Rory Arnold – who is still awaiting the outcome of his disciplinary hearing, after having been charged with biting in the 20-40 loss to the Free State Cheetahs last week.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Sharks and Toyota Free State Cheetahs this weekend climbed into the top two spots on the log table in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division as favourable results pushed them ahead of DHL Western Province on the standings.

In an entertaining round, the Sharks thumped the Vodacom Blue Bulls 34-18 at GrowthPoint Kings Park, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs defeated GWK Griquas 40-20 in Bloemfontein, and the MTN Golden Lions and DHL Western Province played to a 31-31 draw at Ellis Park.

Western Province’s draw forced them two spots down on the log into third place, while the Sharks moved into the top spot for the first time and the Cheetahs moved into second place on points’ difference.

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GWK GriquasGriquas coach Pote Human has made four changes to his side for their first Currie Cup home game against Western Province in Kimberley on Saturday.

Human also made a number of positional switches to the side that lost a lacklustre game against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria last weekend.

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RoryPote Human has gone “Down Under” to find a replacement for injured lock, Ligtoring Landman. Landman who broke his thumb in the match versus the Sharks will be out until at least the second round of the Currie Cup.

With Martin Muller (Lions), Frikkie Spies (France) and Edwin Hewitt (Sharks) all gone to greener pastures, Landman, Nepgen and Lobberts were the only lock options. Pote has brought in the man mountain Rory Arnold from the Gold Coast Breakers Club in Queenslan Australia,  to trial for the Currie Cup season.

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GWK GriquasGriquas have lost the services of two key players ahead of their Currie Cup trip to Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

Coach Pote Human confirmed that stalwarts Rynhardt Landman and Marnus Schoeman both suffered serious injuries in the 32-30 win over the Sharks in Durban last week and will not travel to Pretoria.

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Southern KingsGWK Griquas have beaten the Southern Kings 30 -27, in what was the Kings final warm up match. This result raises yet more questions as to the Kings preparedness for this years Super 15. Simon Westraadt scored a try five minutes from the final whistle to seal the Kings loss. Burton Francis converted, bringing his personal haul to 20 for the match. Burton Francis must have been left smiling, after he was left out of the Kings group earlier this year.

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GWK GriquasGWK Griquas have named a strong and experienced team to play against the Southern Kings in their final warm-up match on Wednesday 12 February, 19h00 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth. This will surely be another stern examination of the Southern Kings preparedness for the ardous Super Rugby series which lies ahead.

Some of the Griquas players will want to show the Cheetahs’ coaches that they are able replacements, should injuries occur.

 

 

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The Cheetahs have assembled some real speed merchants in their wider training squad, and the competition will be fierce for starting spots. With players like Piet van Zyl, Johan Goosen, Robert Ebersohn and Johann Sadie, one can expect the pace men to get plenty of opportunity to stretch the hamstrings.

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The departure of Andries Strauss to the Kings, and the arrival of Johann Sadie, will ensure a new midfield combination. There is talk of Robert Ebersohn reverting back to inside centre where he played at school level, and using Johann Sadie at outside centre. This could be an enticing option, but there are however other possibilities.

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CheetahsCoaches Naka Drotske and Hawies Fourie, seem to be pretty clear of who they envisage in their final Super Rugby squad for 2013. Griquas players Justin Downey, Leon Karemaker, Steph Roberts, Edwin Hewitt, Marnus Hugo and Jean Stemmet have been released to Griquas to prepare for the Vodacom Cup.

It is speculated, that the possible return of Juan Smith may have been the primary motivation as Phillip van der Walt, Heinrich Brüssow, Lappies Labuschagne, Juan Smith, and Boom Prinsloo all have still to prove their fitness. This could indicate that Juan’s progress is in line with the coaches’ expectations.

In years past, this was a position the Cheetahs could make their team selections with their eyes closed. With legends like Juan Smith in particular, giving yeoman service.

Long term injuries and player movements has temporarily thrown the proverbial spanner in the works, resulting in Naka having to recall Hendro Scholtz out of retirement to have a fit flanker in the 2012 Currie Cup.

However the emergence of a few young stars has restored order. Marnus Schoeman has started delivering on the hype anticipated when he was still a junior with the Blue Bulls. Lappies Labuschagne and Justin Downey have grown in their positions, which leaves Naka Drotske spoilt for choice.

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Looking at the tall timber, in what has been a troublesome position for the Cheetahs in seasons past. With stalwarts like Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, Corniel van Zyl, Flip van der Merwe, David de Villiers , Nico Breedt, and Wilhelm Steenkamp all leaving a void, so a new generation of locks  has to be nurtured. With the more recent departures of George Earle, and Izak van der Westhuizens’s departure for colder pastures, a perception could exist, that the Cheetah class of 2013 could struggle in the second row. Well, maybe not!

 

 

 

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