Griquas fightback stuns FS
Cape Town - A late revival has seen Griquas snatch a come-from-behind win over the Free State Cheetahs in their Currie Cup encounter in Kimberley.
Griquas fought back from 20-9 down with 10 minutes remaining to win 23-20.
The Cheetahs led 14-9 at halftime.
Griquas started the better team and took an early 6-0 lead via two penalties from fullback Rudi Vogt.
However, the Free Staters hit back with two tries from flyhalf Sias Ebersohn and scrumhalf Pieter van Zyl. Ebersohn converted both tries.
Vogt kicked another penalty to reduce the gap to five points at the break.
Ebersohn kicked a further two penalties in the second half to stretch the Free State lead to 11.
The Cheetahs seemed to be coasting at 20-9 up with 10 minutes remaining.
However, two brilliant individual efforts swung the game back in the home side's favour.
Wing Riaan Viljoen and centre Jean Stemmet scored two tries in the space of two minutes - both brilliant solo efforts - to turn the game on its head.
Viljoen received the ball on the Cheetahs’ 10-metre line, then accelerated past prop Coenie Oosthuizen before fooling the Free State defense with a sneaky dummy to canter over for a try.
Mere moments later Stemmet received the ball on the halfway line where he bamboozled the defence to sprint in for an eye-catching five-pointer.
Stemmet's try was somewhat controversial though. He appeared to cross with one of his own team-mates, which could have been penalised for obstructive running.
Flyhalf Earl Rose converted both tries to put the hosts up by 23-20.
The Cheetahs nearly stole the game at the death when they marched from their own goal-line deep into the Griquas half, threatening to break the Kimberley faithful's hearts, but the peacock-blues held on to claim a memorable victory.
Tries: Riaan Viljoen, Jean Stemmet
Conversions: Earl Rose (2)
Penalties: Vogt (3)
Tries: Sias Ebersohn, Pieter van Zyl
Conversions: Ebersohn (2)
Penalties: Ebersohn (2)
Griquas: 15. Rudi Vogt, 14. Riaan Viljoen, 13. Jean Stemmet, 12.
Barry Geel, 11. Dusty Noble, 10. Earl Rose, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8.
Jonathan Mokuena (Captain), 7. Davon Raubenheimer, 6. Justin Downey, 5.
Martin Muller, 4. Hendrik Roodt, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Ryno Barnes,
1. Ivann Espag
Substitutes: 16. Simon Westraadt, 17. Kevin
Stevens, 18. Frederik Albertus Spies, 19. Marnus Schoeman, 20. Marnus
Hugo, 21. Hanno Coetzee, 22. Wilmaure Louw
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Riaan Smit, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11
Cameron Jacobs, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Pieter van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7
Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4
Francois Uys, 3 W.P. Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der
Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21
Johan Goosen, 22 Philip Burger.