Rugby

Griquas v Pumas in SuperSport Rugby Challenge final

2018-07-07 21:54
George Whitehead (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Griquas earned their right to contest the SuperSport Rugby Challenge final when they beat the Free State XV 27-14 (half-time 24-0) in their semi-final fixture in Kimberley on Saturday.

Griquas were good value for their win and will now face the Pumas in the final at the Bridgton Sports Grounds, in Outdshoorn, on Sunday, July 15.

The Pumas defeated the Sharks XV 30-17 in Nelspruit on Friday night.

There had not been much to choose between the two central franchise teams as they had beaten each other in the round robin stages.

The Northern Cape side would have fancied their chances having managed a flowing win over the Boland Cavaliers in their quarter-final.

But the Free Staters will also have come into the match in confident mood after claiming a massive scalp in beating Western Province in Cape Town in their quarter-final encounter.

But it was the home team who would strike first when George Whitehead landed a fifth-minute penalty.

Lock Pieter van Vuuren then forced his way over for the opening try of the match in the 22nd minute and Whitehead kicked the conversion as Griquas took a 10-0 lead much to the delight of their home fans.

There was more celebration on the half hour mark as hooker Khwezi Mkhafu scored his team’s second try and Whitehead again added the conversion.

It was all Griquas as left wing Kyle Steyn rounded off a superb half for the home team by scoring the third try on the stroke of half-time. Whitehead added the extras for a 24-0 scoreline.

Free State eventually got on the scoreboard after 50 minutes when No 8 Jasper Wiese crashed over for a try which was converted by flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg before Whitehead slotted another penalty for Griquas.

The visitors were starting to find some momentum and centre Carel-Jan Coetzee narrowed the deficit to 13 points with 19 minutes to play as he scored for Stapelberg to convert.

But Griquas had done enough in the first half and held out in the second to complete a superb win.

Scorers:

Griquas

Tries: Pieter van Vuuren, Khwezi Mkhafu, Kyle Steyn

Conversions: George Whitehead (3)

Penalties: George Whitehead (2)

Free State XV

Tries: Jasper Wiese, Carel-Jan Coetzee

Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg (2)

 

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