Griquas Score Stunning Upset
Griquas shrugged off a second-half slump to bag their first win of the Currie Cup season, holding off a late charge from log leaders the Golden Lions for a 42-32 victory at Coca-Cola Park on Friday night.
Lions scrumhalf Ross Cronje dotted down in the fifth minute, and flyhalf Elton Jantjies added a conversion and a penalty, as the hosts took an early 10-3 lead, with only three points from the boot of Francois Brummer putting Griquas on the board in the first 10 minutes.
The visitors, however, stormed clear with wingers Rocco Jansen and Jannie Boshoff scoring tries within seven minutes as they took control, taking a 20-10 advantage midway through the first half.
Jantjies and Brummer traded blows as both flyhalves kept the scoreboard ticking over with successful attempts at the posts, before flanker Jaco Kriel went over for the Lions with seven minutes left in the opening period.
Two minutes later Griquas hooker Ryno Barnes stretched the gap again, forcing his way over the whitewash, as the visitors took a 28-18 half-time lead.
Having faded in the second 40 minutes in their previous matches this season, Griquas showed their intention shortly after the break.
Fullback Willie le Roux skipped through the Lions defence, dotting down for their bonus-point try in the 44th minute, with Brummer converting as they seemingly stamped their authority on the match.
They managed to hold off a charging Lions side for most of the second stanza but the hosts eventually broke through with a quickfire brace in the dying stages.
Lions winger Anthony Volmink found space on the left to dot down twice in just two minutes, and with fullback Andries Coetzee and centre Butch James converting both tries, the home side closed the gap to 35-32 with 10 minutes left.
Griquas managed to hold their nerve, though, and produced a superb team effort from their own try-line, working through 13 phases before centre Jean Stemmet burst over for their fifth five-pointer of the game shortly before the hooter sounded.
Brummer, who scored 17 points from place kicks, added his fourth successful conversion of the evening to secure the win.
SARugby.com Man of the Match: Willie le Roux.
Golden Lions: Tries: Ross Cronje, Jaco Kriel, Anthony Volmink (2). Conversions: Elton Jantjies, Andries Coetzee, Butch James. Penalties: Jantjies (2).
Griquas: Tries: Rocco Jansen, Jannie Boshoff, Ryno Barnes, Willie le Roux, Jean Stemmet. Conversions: Francois Brummer (4). Penalties: Brummer (3).