Survival hangs in the balance

FILE PICTURE: Jono Ross of the Bulls (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Jono Ross of the Bulls (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The irony about the Currie Cup’s cellar-dweller skirmish between Griquas and the Blue Bulls in Kimberley this afternoon is that both underperformers still have a theoretical possibility of sneaking into the last four.

And it’s that faint hope to cling on to that should provide some mental galvanisation to both sides, who have seen their confidence gradually eroded. But that’s where the interesting dimension to the argument emerges.

It’s all very well telling yourself what the incentive for winning is and that it should place you in a cheerful and confident frame of mind, but that’s way too simplistic.

Particularly from a Bulls perspective, taking advantage means investing full faith in approaches and their execution that have been flawed the ability to whitewash continued failings.

With a young squad, that’s not easy to do and coach Pine Pienaar earlier in the week had said that he was guarding against creating overblown expectations, instead saying that all he wanted from his troops was to be comfortable.

That said, they’re backing themselves to showcase intent and capitalise on it. “We showed in a few games, especially last week against the Lions, that we can put ourselves in a position to score four tries,” he noted.

“We don’t want to go out and chase the game. We want a good start because from there one can build.” The Peacock Blues are in arguably better form than the visitors, merely failing to deliver the proverbial coupe de grace in the past few weeks.

But outgoing coach Pote Human is also wary of his players’ mental state. “We’ve definitely focused more on the psychological aspects of our game this week. I still believe we can make the last four,” he said.

The similarities are thus stark, but Griquas’ penchant for being good at home should count in their favour.




today in print

today in print