Currie Cup Round 9: Griquas v Golden Lions Preview

The Griquas host the Lions in round 9 of this weekend's Currie Cup clash, kicking off on Friday the 8th of September. 

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Griquas v Golden Lions | 8 September 19h15 | Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley

To Win (80 min)
Griquas 4/5 | Draw 25/1| Lions 1/10 * Please note expected odds

The Griquas face the side they went down to by 43-points to 48 in Round 2 and will be confident of claiming revenge in Kimberley this weekend. They currently sit one point above their rivals from Johannesburg in sixth-place amid fiercely close competition and will look to keep up the pressure for qualifying places with a win here. Meanwhile, The Golden Lions arrested a four-match losing run when they beat the Pumas last week and will continue to seek an unlikely route to the playoffs via a victory in Kimberley.

With just three-points separating seventh from third in the 2017 Currie Cup standings, the Griquas’ narrow loss to the Bulls last weekend would have been a huge setback for one of the competition’s minnows. Despite the result, however, the Griquas will take heart from having come back from a 41-21 deficit, to securing a bonus-point in their eventual 44-42 defeat. Coach Peter Engledow will point to their staying power as a means of galvanising his players to push through until the season’s end and to keep fighting for that coveted semi-final place.

The Lions will offer up a typically attack-minded opposition for the Griquas this weekend, who should do well not to let the game become too loose – something off of which the Lions thrive. A tight, structured game will allow for the powerful Griquas forwards to outmuscle that of the Lions, and hence to dominate possession and territory via scrum penalties. The Lions have been found wanting in this department, and the Griquas will do well to target this facet of their play.

Swys de Bruin would have breathed a sigh of relief after his side’s marginal 29-28 victory over the Pumas on the weekend – a game which really could have swung in favour of either team. The win incredibly sees them still in with a shout of claiming a qualifying position, this despite only being their second of the campaign. Such is the close nature of this season’s edition that the Lions may well end the season in fourth, or even third, something that would have seemed an impossibility a few weeks ago.

The Griquas will be, as always, an exceedingly tough prospect at home. If the Lions can avoid being drawn into a breakdown battle, they may be in with a shout. They will need senior statesmen such as Ryan Kankowski and Rohan Janse van Rensburg to make big statements if they are to topple the men from Kimberley.

Verdict: Griquas 4/5 * Please note expected odds
The Griquas will outmuscle a physically-inferior Lions outfit into submission this weekend, to end their playoff hopes whilst fuelling their own.

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Written by Shaun Goosen for

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