Grant denies Free State XV

A last-gasp penalty earned Griquas a 19-18 Vodacom Cup victory over the Free State XV on Saturday, while Border, Valke and WP also won.

Trailing by two points with time up on the clock, Griquas replacement flyhalf Dean Grant kept his nerve to slot the winning penalty in the 81st minute.

Three points separated Griquas and Free State on the South Section log before kick-off, and the winner of this contest would go on to secure second place and ultimately an easier play-off match in two weeks' time. 

The visitors raced to an early 10-0 lead courtesy of a converted try and drop goal by fullback Ludwig Erasmus. But their joy was short-lived as Griquas struck back with a try through scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen, to trail 10-7 at the interval.

Griquas fullback Gouws Prinsloo and Free State XV flyhalf Willie du Plessis traded penalties after the resumption before Grant came on in the 63rd minute. He immediately took over the kicking duties and booted two penalties to put his side ahead for the first time in the match. But there was to be another twist when Alvin Brandt scored a 77th-minute try for the men from Bloemfontein and even though the conversion was missed they looked on course to win 18-16.

Griquas, however, worked their way up-field and Free State infringed at the breakdown after the siren had sounded. Grant lined up the shot and calmly slotted the ball over the crossbar to turn the result in Griquas' favour.

Elsewhere, wing Makazole Mapimpi contributed 24 points, scoring three tries and kicking three conversions and a penalty, to give Border their first win of the competition with a 29-5 win against Boland in Alice. At Newlands, outside centre Jaco Taute scored one of four tries to help Province to a 27-19 win over the SWD Eagles. And in Polokwane, wing Kyle Hendricks grabbed a hat-trick as Valke edged the Limpopo Blue Bulls 38-27.

Griquas (19) – Try: Rudi van Rooyen. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalties: Dean Grant (3), Prinsloo.
Free State XV (18) – Tries: Ludwig Erasmus, Alvin Brandt. Conversion: Willie du Plessis. Penalty: Du Plessis. Drop kick: Erasmus.

Border Bulldogs (29) – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi (3), Michael Makase. Conversions: Mapimpi (3). Penalty: Mapimpi.
Boland Cavaliers (5) – Try: Harlon Klaasen.

Western Province (27) – Tries: Tapiwa Tsomondo (2), Jaco Taute, Tshotsho Mbovane. Conversions: Robert du Preez (2). Penalty: Jean-Luc du Plessis.
SWD Eagles (19) – Try: Leighton Eksteen. Conversion: Elric van Vuuren. Penalties: Van Vuuren (3), Gerrit Smith.

Limpopo Blue Bulls (27) – Tries: Tinus van Wyk, Pieter Matthews, Dwayne Pienaar, Andries Truter. Conversions: Anton Beswick (2). Penalty: Beswick.
Valke (38) – Tries: Kyle Hendricks (3), Riaan Arends, Johan Pretorius, Freddie Olivier. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (4).

Friday's Vodacom Cup results

Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams