Preview: Griquas v Western Province

Date published: August 6 2015

Griquas and Western Province will get 2015's Currie Cup competition underway when they face off in Kimberley on Friday.

As defending champions there will be plenty of pressure on Western Province throughout the season and they will be keen to lay down an early marker to all the other teams in the tournament by delivering a dominant display in their opening match.

Griquas will be no pushovers however, as they are always competitive on their home turf. 

The home side have also been bolstered by the inclusion of South African Sevens players Ruhan Nel and Sandile Ngcobo in the squad for this weekend's clash.

Nel starts at outside against the champions while Ngcobo, who plays on the wing, will start amongst the replacements.

Griquas assistant coach Peter Engeldoe feels it's imperative for the team to build on their performances in the play-offs when they take on the champions.

"The whole team must pitch up for the match on Friday, with the forwards having to be accurate at the set-pieces and physical (enough) to disrupt a very good backline," he said.

WP's entire starting line-up represented the Stormers at Super Rugby level this year and while they will be the team that everyone wants to beat, there will be added pressure on them as they also have a new coach in John Dobson.

WP's former U21 and Vodacom Cup coach expects a tough assignment in his first Currie Cup match and is not underestimating Griquas.

“They will be waiting for us – they’re hosting the Currie Cup champions on a Friday afternoon in Kimberley," said Dobson.

"Also, some of their players have played for us before and would also want to prove a point!

“This isn’t your Griquas team of old. They have a massive kicking game and we’re expecting a bit more kicking from them and to challenge our back three.

“They’re still physical, make no mistake, but there’s less and less of that Cheetahs style, wide game. They will kick more and chase well and we would also need to adapt our kicking game against them.

“Any win will do this week – this is a massive banana skin for us and we would be happy to start our campaign with an away win against this tough Griquas side.”

Prediction: Griquas will be brimming with confidence as they are in their own backyard and although this should be an entertaining spectacle, the visitors will have too much ammunition. WP to win by eight points!

The teams:

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Jaco Nepgen, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Jacquin Jansen, 22 Sandile Ngcobo.

 Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (c), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Johnny Kotze, 23 Charlie van Jaarsveld.

Date: Friday, August 7
Venue: Griquas Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15:30 (local, 13:30 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco Kotze
TMO: JJ Wagner