So severe were some of the cases that a few of the players – the most prominent of those being the highly rated outside centre Michal Hasnar – had to be left behind in Kimberley, but they pulled through with a 50-21 win against DHL Western Province.
“I was worried on Wednesday that we wouldn’t have a team to put out on the field,” said a proud Brent Janse van Rensburg afterwards.
“The guys were really ill, we had about 15 players with chest problems and on antibiotics, and management also man down.
“We had to adjust our training problem a lot, it affected the way we normally prepare, and I must say I was happy with the way management and everyone just focused on solutions and what we needed to do to make the best of it.
“We had some guys we had to leave behind because we couldn’t pick for this game, fortunately it’s a squad effort and the guys healed up enough for us to put a team on the field and not be further disrupted. They played a good game today and put in a pretty good effort on the field.”For all that, not only were Tafel Lager Griquas clearly the dominant side in their semifinal, Janse van Rensburg wasn’t particularly surprised at the margin of the victory: “With any team when you click on the day and execute properly you’re going to score tries. I thought we have the ability to score tries against DHL WP.
“We prepared well because we knew what to expect from them, and we were tactically good today. I thought we managed the game poorly in the first half and just didn’t look after the ball well. But as the game wore on I thought we were good.”
Janse van Rensburg said he was particularly pleased about the ball retention, continuity, physicality, quick ruck ball and his “pretty electric” backs out wide in a second half following a reasonably narrow margin to end the first (15-11).