Griquas bounced back from last week’s home loss to WP, with a comprehensive 58-25 Currie Cup win over the Pumas in Kimberley on Friday evening.
Rugby 365 reports that after suffering a 47-point loss to a rampant Western Province a week ago, Griquas got their campaign back on track… in grand style.
In the process, Griquas continued their dominance over the Pumas in the Currie Cup – especially at home where they have lost once only (in 2001) since both teams made their comeback to the Premier Division in 1996.
Rocco Jansen, who was a late replacement for Springbok flyer Bjorn Basson on the wing, finished brilliantly in the left-hand corner for the first try under the lights.
Fullback Riaan Viljoen had a rather disappointing game against WP last Saturday and started in the same fashion this week; grubbering a kick-through leading to a penalty for the visitors.
The first time he decided to rather attack, it very nearly led to a try for his team. It did earn them three points through the boot of skipper Naas Olivier who missed an earlier attempt at goal.
The Pumas came to Kimberley promising a dog-fight and they responded with a try by flyhalf Elgar Watts from the restart. After a patient build-up, lock Willem Serfontein off-loaded nicely to his teammate Watts, who had little difficulty in dotting down.
They really seemed to struggle keeping hold of the ball. The Pumas handling was more secure and on the stroke of the first quarter, Shaun Venter’s pace was too much for Olivier and he ran in a converted try.
A moment of brilliance earned Griquas their second try, Olivier seemed to be playing wide, but Viljoen received a pass on the inside which caught the Pumas napping and earned them seven vital points to reduce the deficit to two points (15-17).
A second Watts penalty made it 20-15 to the Pumas, but scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius – who once again delivered a standout performance – quickly tapped and scored.
Olivier’s conversion gave them a narrow 22-20 lead at half-time.
Olivier kicked his second penalty of the night, but the Pumas, playing in their customary new set of jerseys after the break, levelled matters again with their third try by flanker Alwyn Bester.
The lead changed hands again as Griquas scored their fourth – and bonus point-clinching – try. Frikkie Spies muscled his way over the line for a well-deserved five-pointer as he was one of the standout players on the night.
That seemed to inspire Griquas to improve their performance. They were very impressive in the last quarter, adding four more tries – including another beauty by Viljoen.
Man of the Match: Three Griquas players spring to mind immediately – No.4 lock Frikkie Spies, lively scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius and fullback Riaan Viljoen; he of the booming boot and deceptive pace. Our choice, however is that man Sarel Pretorius who was at the heart of a lot of Griquas good.
Tries: Jansen, Viljoen 2, Pretorius 2, Spies, Kemp, Vogt
Cons: Olivier 6
Pens: Olivier 2
For the Pumas:
Tries: Watts, Venter, Bester
Cons: Watts 2
Pens: Watts 2