Warriors will have to hit the ground running, says coach

Rivash Gobind
Rivash Gobind
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

What a difference one result makes.

That is what the Warriors will be thinking as they head into their seventh match of the CSA Four-Day Franchise series against the Titans at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday next week.

They go into that match propping up the log after losing their final match of the year against the table-topping Cobras at St George’s Park last week.

Before that match, the Warriors were fourth on the sixteam table and still in striking distance of the Cobras.

After starting off well in the match, the Warriors put themselves in a good position for possible victory, until the Cobras showed why they have been the top franchise team this season by turning the match on its head.

That result pushed the Cobras further ahead on the log and gave them breathing space on 126.18 points at the top, well ahead of the Lions on 95.72 in second place.

The Warriors are sitting rock bottom on 68.44 points, just more than a point behind the Dolphins in fifth on 69.72.

“We are quite a way off first place now but if we can try and win all our remaining games and finish as high as we can, that is the best we can do,” Warriors coach Rivash Gobind said.

“I think every game so far this season we have been in a position where we could have probably won it, but those key moments and key sessions just haven't gone for us, which has been a bit frustrating, so that is where we need to focus on improving going forward.”

The match against the Titans will be the Warriors’ first in East London for the 20182019 season.

Buffalo Park is often a happy hunting ground for the Warriors and they will hope to get the new year off to a winning start at the ground against a tough Titans side.

“Last season our results in East London were excellent, so we are really looking forward to coming and playing there and hopefully we will get similar conditions to what we are used to and then we just need to exploit it,” Gobind said.

“We have had some really good battles against them [Titans] in the last few years, results that could have gone either way, so it is going to be a nice challenge over four days.

“And if we get anything like the game we had against them last season[where the Warriors won by getting two wickets off the last two balls of the match] it is going to be very exciting.”

The Warriors will also be happy to have a fit and healthy squad available, with only fast bowler Anrich Nortje unavailable after being injured during the Mzansi Super League.

“Nortje will still be out for a little while, but everything is going well in his recovery.

“It is ahead of schedule, so we are looking forward to welcoming him back soon,” Gobind said.

“We have no other injury concerns, everyone is fit and we have pretty much got a full group to pick from, which is nice.”