Wildeklawer Griquas fullback Bjorn Basson scored a brace of tries in vain as the Wildebeest rallied to win their Vodacom Cup match 23-20 (halftime 14-13) in Durban on Saturday.
Report courtesy www.supperrugby.co.za.
Basson looked the most polished player on the field, and his tries either side of halftime were a just reward.
But on the day there was no topping the guts and grit shown by the home side, who earned their first win in the competition in the wake of losses to the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the Pumas.
Tries by flyhalf Tiaan Marx and hooker Jody Jenneker earned the Wildebeest the upper hand in the opening quarter, but flyhalf Riaan Viljoen kept Griquas in touch with a couple of long range penalties.
With 12 minutes left in the first half, Basson melted through several poor tackles to score his first try. Viljoen’s conversion narrowed the gap to a single point at halftime.
Eighteen minutes into the second half the Wildebeest defence again gave up without a fight as Basson sped down the touchline to dot down for his second try.
That put Griquas ahead for the first time in the match. But three minutes later Wildebeest scrumhalf Neil de Bruin, who took over the placekicking duties while Marx was recovering from a knock to the knee, levelled the score at 20-20 with a penalty.
There were 12 minutes on the clock when Marx banged over another shot at goal to nudge the home side back into the lead.
Griquas ended the match on the charge, and Wildebeest number eight Nikolai Blignaut put in a telling tackle to thwart the visitors in what proved to be the last action of the match.
Wildebeest – Tries: Tiaan Marx, Jody Jenneker.
Conversions: Marx (2).
Penalties: Neil de Bruin (2), Marx.
Griquas – Tries – Bjorn Basson (2).
Conversions: Riaan Viljoen (2).
Penalties: Viljoen (2).