Passionate Griquas down Lions
Rocco Jansen (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - A late try from Jean Stemmet sealed an entertaining first victory in this year’s Absa Currie Cup for Griquas, as they downed the defending champions, the Golden Lions, 42-32 at Coca-Cola Park on Friday night.
According to the supersport.com website
, Stemmet crossed the line in the 77th minute to seal a famous victory for Pote Human’s side and finally give themselves points for a win in this year’s competition.
It isn’t surprising that Griquas started with so much passion - Human had warned that this was a watershed moment in their campaign and only if they won would they consider themselves able to compete in this level of competition.
And what a passionate performance it was. Buoyed by their own plethora of ball, and given some poor defence by the Lions at times, the Griquas took their chances when it mattered to take the lead in the first half and never looked back.
In the end they outscored the Lions five tries to four, stopped a late comeback and ensured a full-house of points from an away fixture where away victories are very valuable indeed.
Griquas started the game like men possessed, with former Lions winger Jannie Boshoff steaming down the touchline to make the first foray into the Lions area. It wasn’t long before Francois Brummer slotted the first of his 17 points for the night.
The Lions did strike the first blow in the try-scoring stakes, as a wild pass on the Griquas attack was picked up by Ross Cronje, who ran 40 metres untouched to score against the run of play.
If it was a setback, it wasn’t one that worried the visitors, as they continued to attack at will, and spread the ball wide against their more fancied opposition.
After a penalty apiece, it was a classic steal on the ground by Marnus Schoeman, who had a wonderful game, that set up another big run for Boshoff, and a wonderful finish for Rocco Jansen.
A few minutes later Willie le Roux found a gap on the outside around Josh Strauss, then passed inside to Leon Karemaker who sent Boshoff away for a try of his own, opening up a big lead over the Lions.
The Lions managed to grab a try back before halftime, as a bullocking run from Willie Britz put Lionel Mapoe away and Jaco Kriel finished off the move to bring them within range again.
But a TMO-confirmed try for Ryno Barnes just on halftime ensured a large 28-18 lead for the visitors at half time.
And after some harsh words from Human at the break, Griquas grabbed their bonus point four minutes into the second half as Le Roux, playing at flyhalf, beat JC Janse van Rensburg around the ruck to score.
But the Lions launched a massive comeback, with a brace of tries from Anthony Volminck bringing them back within a try of Griquas as the clock ticked down.
Instead of going into their shell, Griquas came back attacking, and eventually found the gap when Stemmet received the ball on the outside to touch down for the winning try.
This year’s Absa Currie Cup is likely to go down as one of the toughest, and the Griqua victory will bring an already close log even closer together, with no side taking control just yet.
Tries: Ross Cronje, Jaco Kriel, Anthony Volmink (2)
Conversions: Elton Jantjies, Andries Coetzee, Butch James
Penalties: Jantjies (2)Griquas:
Tries: Rocco Jansen, Jannie Boshoff, Ryno Barnes, Willie le Roux, Jean Stemmet
Conversions: Francois Brummer (4)
Penalties: Brummer (3)