Kimberley - Fullback Rudi Vogt finished with 21
points as the GWK Griquas ended the title defence of the Pampas XV with a
26-18 victory (half-time 17-6) in their Vodacom Cup quarterfinal.
Griquas seemed to have the match in the bag
when they led 23-6 after 50 minutes, but a dazzling comeback by the
Pampas XV closed the gap to 23-18 before the home side tightened up,
used their forwards to regain control and ended the match the stronger
The Argentineans did not help their cause by conceding a
flood of penalties at the breakdown, allowing sharpshooter Vogt to kick
seven of them, and their adventurous style of play was not helped by
some dreadfully poor passing in the first half.
happy to grind out the victory in the knockout match, using their
hardworking forwards, who were an exceptionally well-knit unit.
Pampas XV were keen to keep ball in hand and, after Vogt and flyhalf
Benjamin Madero traded penalties, it got them into trouble as Griquas
eighthman Leon Karemaker forced them back over their own tryline to
concede a 5m scrum.
The Griquas scrum was rock-solid all game
and, from that wonderful platform, flank Marnus Schoeman tried to go
straight over the ruck to score. He was initially repelled, but then
showed great strength to carry the ball wide and pass to lock Ligtoring
Landman, who lived up to his name by dotting the ball down from some
Vogt missed the conversion, but the Griquas scrum
continued to dismantle the famous Pampas set-piece, the disrepect
reaching a peak when they nabbed a tighthead in the 14th minute, leading
to an offsides penalty, which Vogt slotted from just inside his own
half and from quite an angle (11-3).
The Pampas XV then put their
counter-attacking approach to good use when wing Facundo Barrea and
scrumhalf Martin Landajo burst into Griquas territory and won a penalty,
which Madero kicked (11-6).
Griquas were happy to keep the ball
among their forwards for the rest of the half, their pick-and-goes,
rolling maul and powerful scrumming earning Vogt two more penalties
(17-6) before half-time.
Two more Vogt penalties early in the
second half, the first after a wonderfully precise and penetrative
rolling maul, pointed to normal service being resumed after the break.
6-23 down, the Pampas perhaps had good reason to stick with their
attacking approach and wing Manuel Montero burst clear at the back of a
lineout before his chip-and-gather created the space for outside centre
Gabriel Ascarate to score at the corner flag.
The try of the
match followed on the hour mark as most of the Pampas team handled the
ball from the kickoff, the handling and support play all coming together
as Madero scored after the home side eventually ran out of defenders.
The flyhalf's conversion was good and the visitors had closed the gap to
just five points.
Much of the pressure Griquas were under was a
result of their own mistakes and they tightened up again significantly
in the last quarter to seal the win.
Good driving play and
ball-retention, followed by a swift attack down the left, resulted in a
penalty, successfully converted by Vogt (26-18), but the fullback did
miss a third shot at goal with three minutes remaining.
not matter though and the defending champions were left to rue their
lack of technical precision and structure. The Pampas XV had played the
more exciting rugby, but the more structured Griquas team were able to
feed off their mistakes, always a crucial factor in knockout rugby.
Griquas will now face the winners of the match between the Sharks XV and the Blue Bulls in Durban tomorrow in the semi-finals.
Scorers GWK Griquas - Try: Ligtoring Landman. Penalties: Rudi Vogt (7).
Pampas XV - Try: Gabriel Ascarate. Benjamin Madero. Conversion: Madero. Penalties: Madero (2).