Kimberley - Griquas asserted themselves as real contenders for this year's Currie Cup title by beating the Blue Bulls 49-34 on GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.
Griquas started at a ferocious pace and wing Rocco Jansen scored in the opening minute after the Bulls defenders were caught napping. Flyhalf Francois Brummer missed the conversion, but he kicked a penalty shortly after to give the hosts a handy eight point lead after only five minutes.
The Bulls could not get any momentum and it showed in their attack as well as on defence. Brummer kicked another penalty before the hosts again got over the tryline, with the Griquas centre Walter Venter running in for his five pointer after flank and captain Wesley Wilkins showed some good supportive play. Brummer converted.
It was Brummer himself that scored Griquas third try after the Bulls were left wanting again, but not before also kicking a clever little drop goal. Their defence in the first half was poor and the hosts took advantage of it.
The Bulls finally got on the board when scrum half Rudy Paige went over. Paige scored after the Bulls put together the first piece of decent attacking play. Flyhalf Louis Fouche converted to give the visitors something for all their effort.
The visitors also had the last say of the first half after hooker Willie Wepener dove over and Fouche converted. There must have been some stern words in the Bulls dressing-room during the break, because it was all the Bulls in the second half. They started well when Fouche kicked another penalty and came within striking distance after winger Akona Ndungane plucked a kick out of the air and beat all Griquas defenders to score a converted try. Griquas got some momentum back when a passage of loose play resulted in a try for the centre Jean Stemmet. Brummer couldn't convert, but he did convert the try of flank Marnus Schoeman shortly thereafter. Schoeman pounced on the ball behind the Bulls goalline after the visitors couldn't control their possession.
But the Bulls weren't done yet as prop Werner Kruger went over in the last ten minutes and Fouche converted to bring the visitors back within 12 points. Ill discipline put them back on the hind foot however, as the Bulls were pinned for infringing at the breakdown and Brummer kicked an easy penalty. Wing Richard Lawson scored soon afterwards for the hosts to put the final nail in the Bulls' coffin. Bulls flank CJ Stander scored a consolation try near the end.Scorers:
Tries: Rocco Jansen, Walter Venter, Francois Brummer, Jean Stemmet, Marnus Schoeman, Richard Lawson
Conversions: Brummer (2)
Penalties: Brummer (4)
Drop goal: Brummer
Tries: Rudy Paige, Willie Wepener, Akona Ndungane, Werner Kruger, CJ Stander
Conversions: Louis Fouche (3)