And in a highly unlikely scenario, the Lions can still host the final if they beat Griquas, finish third, and they and either the Cheetahs or the Blue Bulls score surprise away wins in next weekend’s playoffs.
But, said Lions captain Derick Minnie, they are not allowing their minds to wander or bank on such eventualities, they just want to beat Griquas at Ellis Park this afternoon.
“We are not going to change the way we play simply because we need to win this game to ensure our semifinal place,” said Minnie.
“But we will focus on a more complete performance the entire game, ensure there are not moments that we lose focus on defence, and be clinical when we do create opportunities.”
With Springbok lock Franco van der Merwe back to stabilise the lineouts which were not always great against Western Province last week this promises to set the tone for the Lions impressive rolling maul.
But, warned coach Johan Ackermann, he doesn’t agree with the general opinion that it’s a weakened Griquas outfit. “I have had a look at their players and they still boast an impressive line-up, while they have been hard-hit with injuries,” he said.
“But the players coming back like lock Ligtoring Landman and prop Janro van Niekerk would have played earlier in the competition had it not been that they were out injured.”
Griquas have always excelled against the Lions in the Den, but have conceded big defeats in their last two games in Kimberley – 52-10 against the Blue Bulls and 52-21 against the Cheetahs.
But in coach Pote Human’s last Currie Cup game before the promotion-relegation matches which will see him join Tukkies, the visitors will be playing for pride.
After all, they will want to impress new coach Hawies Fourie. And there is also a Super Rugby competition to be contested next year.