Griquas outplay Lions
Rocco Jansen (Gallo Images)
Kimberley - Griquas climbed two places in the standings, lifting themselves from the bottom rung of the Currie Cup ladder with a surprise 37-21 (half-time 14-18) victory over table toppers the Golden Lions on Saturday.
Picking up a bonus point with four tries, the hosts moved into fourth position on the log to stay in a tight race for the playoffs.
Griquas started well and put the Lions under pressure, but the visitors remained calm and exerted pressure early in the match.
Veteran flyhalf Butch James
kicked his first penalty in the ninth minute to get the Lions on the scoreboard, and the Johannesburg side followed it up with some attractive play.
Their inability, however, to keep the ball in hand meant many chances went astray. Griquas got an early chance to put themselves on the scoreboard, but flyhalf Francois Brummer failed to convert a penalty attempt.
The Lions got their first five-pointer after a patient passage of play and a well executed rolling maul. The hosts sacked the first, but flanker Cobus Grobbelaar spearheaded the next one and went over for the visitors.
James missed with the conversion, but the opening try set the Lions alight as they took control of the game.
With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, big lock Michael Rhodes scored the visiting side's second try after they had the Griquas defence up in arms, and James converted.
The home team eventually scored their first try when prop Lourens Adriaanse shimmied his way over the line for what at first glance looked like a double movement. But the television match official gave the try the green light and Brummer converted to put his side back in striking distance.
Soon after, eighthman Leon Karemaker put the hosts within one point, scoring a converted try from the back of the scrum, but James had the last say of the first half, kicking a penalty on the hooter to give his side some breathing space.
The Lions made too many errors at the start of the second half, and some ill-disciplined play cost them their advantage.
Brummer capitalised with his kicking boot as the hosts took charge.
Griquas looked the more composed of the two sides and it showed when winger Rocco Jansen ran in for their third converted try to put the Lions under immense pressure.
James kicked another penalty 13 minutes from time, but the Lions still had six points to make up.
Griquas remained a threat as Brummer kicked another penalty, and Jansen converted turnover ball into his second-five pointer, dotting down in the corner for a converted try, and the home side's bonus point, to put the result beyond doubt.
Tries: Louren Adriaanse, Leon Karemaker and Rocco Jansen (2).
Conversions: Francois Brummer (4)
Penalties: Brummer (3)
Tries: Cobus Grobbelaar and Michael Rhodes.
Conversion: Butch James
Penalties: James (3)
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 JP Nel, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts
Substitutes: 16. Matthew Dobson, 17. Ivann Espag, 18. Edwin Hewitt, 19. Jaco Nepgen, 20. Jacques Coetzee, 21. Marnitz Boshoff, 22. Walter Venter
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Butch James, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Derick Minnie, 20 Guy Cronje, 21 Dylan Des Fountain, 22 James Kamana