Nelspruit - Gouws Prinsloo sent the GWK Griquas into the Vodacom Cup final with a
last-minute penalty as they beat the Pumas 15-14 (half-time 9-3) at the
Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday night.
With time running
out, Griquas were given a lifeline as the Pumas were penalised for
collapsing a maul from an attacking lineout.
Prinsloo was the man for
the moment and sent the ball straight between the uprights to end the
Pumas undefeated run in the competition.
The Pumas had fought
back from a dismal first half performance to dominate the second stanza.
JC Roos missed the conversion of the only try of the match, scored by
their captain Corne Steenkamp with 13 minutes remaining, to leave the
hosts just one point adrift of the visitors.
But Roos made up for
the error by slotting his third penalty just four minutes later to hand
the hosts a slender two point lead, after Francois Brummer had been
A dominant performance by the visitors in the
first half with possession and territory, coupled with a struggling
Pumas lineout, saw the men from Kimberley on the scoreboard within 24
seconds of the first whistle thanks to Brummer.
The Griquas flyhalf
slotted a drop goal, which bounced over off the crossbar, after the
visitors had stolen the ball from the Pumas from the kick-off.
home side was handed an opportunity to level matters after the referee
penalised Griquas for being offside at the ruck.
But some backchat from
the Griquas players allowed Roos an easier attempt to level the scores
at 3-all after the referee marched the penalty 10m closer to the poles.
Schoeman conducted proceedings at the back of the Griquas scrum with
aplomb as the Pumas forwards stamped their authority in the engine room.
and Roos both missed penalty attempts to give their respective teams
the lead, although Roos' attempt was from a massive 64m away.
But it was
not until the half-hour mark that Prinsloo was able to break the
deadlock with a successful penalty attempt after the hosts were
penalised for not rolling away with the Griquas on the attack.
then missed his second attempt at goal, pushing a shot from 45m out to
the left of the uprights after the Pumas hooker, Jacques Momberg, was
pinned for playing the ball on the ground.
But the Griquas fullback made
amends just three minutes later to make the score 9-3 after Giant
Mtyanda was penalised for not supporting his weight at the ruck.
Griquas second-half performance, or lack thereof, could be attributed
to Brummer. The flyhalf looked a shadow of his first-half self, dropping
balls and being caught in possession at every opportunity.
flyhalf did come back into the match in the final 20 minutes,
accentuated by a demonic tackle which stopped a Pumas maul and handed
the Griquas with a scrum to relieve some pressure.
the margin to three points with a penalty just two minutes after the
restart when the Griquas were caught offside. But five minutes later,
Roos missed another huge attempt from 61 metres out with the ball
sailing left of the uprights.
With 20 minutes remaining, Prinsloo
slotted his third penalty to give the Griquas a six-point lead once
again after the home side were penalised for infringing at the lineout.
the crowd started to get behind their team when Roos kicked a penalty
into touch eight metres from the Griquas tryline. The Pumas mauled the
ball up and Steenkamp broke away to dot down in the corner to send the
crowd into raptures.
Roos was unable to convert the try from the touchline, with the ball sliding past the left-hand upright.
will be watching the second semi-final between the Bulls and the Golden
Lions with anticipation to see who they will face in the May 17 final.
Pumas: Try: Corne Steenkamp; Penalties: JC Roos (3).
GWK Griquas: Penalties: Gouws Prinsloo (4); Drop goal: Francois Brummer.