Bulls have the tough task of stopping Griqua juggernaught
AT THE beginning of the season it was the five big unions, namely the Blue Bulls, Sharks, Free State Cheetahs, Lions and Western Province, who were being countered as the hot favourites to compete for top honours in this year’s Currie Cup.
Two weeks ago In Kimberley a few of the Griquas players must have looked at their upcoming fixtures against the Lions and the Bulls, respectively, as a weeks where most of them would cite flu as the reason for not playing.
Griquas pitched up in Johannesburg two weeks ago fighting fit and against all the odds left with a full bag of points.
This week eleven of their players went down with the flu but most, if not all, will take the field this afternoon in a clash against a Bulls team who seem to be backpedalling when not playing at home.
Instead of lying low and succumb- ing to the flu it seems like nothing is going to keep Dawie Theron’s men away from the rugby field, a place where they have proven to be the kings of domestic rugby.
Five matches unbeaten is no easy feat in the Currie Cup and while the lowly Boland and Leopards count amongst those scalps, the fact that Griquas are more than merely pretenders to the throne is given credit by their victories over the Cheetahs, Lions and Western Province.
There can be no doubt that Griquas have found a new lease on life with Theron at the helm but the signs were there for all to see when they upstaged the Blue Bulls and won the Vodacom Cup.
Today they will want to go out in front of their home crowd and prove, again, to the rest of the country that they can no longer be taken lightly and their one point win over Western Province last week would have been the perfect catalyst to add another big one to their already impressive collection of scalps.
The Bulls will run onto the field almost like lambs to the slaughter as they struggle to shake off their woeful away record and trying to lift themselves off the bottom half of the Currie Cup log.
After their first loss to the Sharks, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke cited that it as still early in the competition to worry, however after last week’s dismal showing against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein the Bulls will need to stay abreast.
A loss for the Bulls this afternoon could spell disaster for Ludeke and his young charges as the Currie Cup has proven cruel to late bloomers.
Much went wrong against the Cheetahs from their lack of quality possession in the scrums to their inability to handle pressure.
Dewald Potgieter, Zane Kirchner and Chiliboy Ralepelle’s inclusion in the Bulls team is undoubtedly a boost, but critical questions will be asked by the high flying Griquas.
But more than anything it will be the Bulls that will have to do all the hard graft as it is almost a foregone conclusion this year that everytime Griquas run onto a rugby field they are guaranteed of victory.
It is almost unthinkable to say it, but the Bulls should consider themselves very fortunate if they are able to bring the Griquas juggernaut to a halt.