Currie Cup

Griquas eye Currie Cup semis

2014-07-23 17:04
Ryno Barnes (Gallo Images)
Kimberley - With two tournament triumphs this season, Griquas captain Ryno Barnes says they are aiming to continue their fine form in the Currie Cup.

After a disappointing 2013 Currie Cup campaign, which saw Griquas only win one of their 10 fixtures en route to Premier Division relegation, the men from Kimberley have quickly restored their pride.

They started the year with an impressive run in the Vodacom Cup as they went on to beat the SWD Eagles (84-15), Pumas (15-14) and Golden Lions (30-6) in the knockouts to lift their fifth tournament title.

They then completed an unbeaten run to seal top place on the Currie Cup qualifying log and confirm their return to the Premier Division, which kicks off on August 8.

Barnes said his players are now determined to upset the big teams and work their way into a semi-final position.

"We've had to take the long route to return to the Currie Cup Premier Division," Barnes told the MyPlayers website.

"After completing the job against SWD in George, the players huddled up and agreed that the collective goal would be reaching a spot among the final four.

"It won't be easy, especially against the big teams, but if we can build on the performances we have delivered this season, we can go far."

Barnes credited new Griquas coach Hawies Fourie for the team's notable improvement this year.

"I was captain of the team that went down in the Currie Cup last year. That wasn't easy," said Barnes. "But since Hawies has come in, the new structures he has implemented have done wonders. There's much more discipline in the team and the new defensive system is very effective.

"The coaching team brings a lot of experience. Their work has rejuvenated this team."

Barnes added that the Currie Cup will also provide a platform for Griquas players to put up their hand for the 2015 Super Rugby campaign. The Cheetahs will look to rebuild their squad after losing many influential players. They will likely look to their Northern Cape franchise partners to rebuild their team.

"We had seven players involved in the Cheetahs squad this year. It's always a nice experience for Griquas to be part of the Super Rugby experience," said Barnes. "We'll be missing a few players because of injury, but there's plenty of talent in this squad. I'm sure many players will be putting up their hands during the Currie Cup to catch the attention of the Cheetahs selectors."

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Read more on:    griquas  |  currie cup  |  ryno barnes  |  kimberley  |  rugby
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SWD Eagles v Free State XV, George 19:00
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