Griquas ended the Golden Lions' 13-match Currie Cup winning streak with a 30-24 victory in Kimberley on Saturday. SIMON BORCHARDT reports.
The hosts conceded a try within the first minute of each half, but were able to dominate for large parts of this match and were ultimately full value for their win.
It took the Lions just 38 seconds to score the first try when, after a Griquas pass failed to go to hand, Akker van der Merwe picked up the loose ball and dotted down under the crossbar.
Clinton Swart got the hosts on the board with a penalty, before AJ Coertzen crossed for their first try to put them in front. Swart kicked the conversion and then added a penalty to make it 13-7.
Griquas extended their lead in the 29th minute when an 18-phase attack was finished by Stephan Kotzé.
The Lions got themselves back into the game five minutes before the break after a Griquas backline move broke down and Howard Mnisi raced away to make it 20-12. But they were then reduced to 14 men when flyhalf Jaco van der Walt was yellow-carded for a tip-tackle.
The visitors started the second half like they did the first, despite being a man down, with a try inside the first minute. This time, a switch in midfield sucked in defenders before the ball went wide to Cyle Brink, whose converted try narrowed the gap to one.
Griquas responded with their third try, with scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen darting over following a sustained attack.
The Lions got themselves back within striking distance with six minutes to go. While Griquas were able to sack the visitors' lineout driving maul, they couldn't prevent Corné Fourie from crashing over from close range.
But the conversion was missed and Griquas were able to get back into Lions' territory and wind down the clock.
Griquas – Tries: AJ Coertzen, Stephan Kotzé, Rudi van Rooyen. Conversions: Clinton Swart (3). Penalties: Swart (2).
Golden Lions – Tries: Akker van der Merwe, Howard Mnisi, Cyle Brink, Corné Fourie. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt, Marnitz Boshoff.
Griquas – 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 JW Jonker, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 4 Sias Koen, 3 Stephan Kotzé, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Subs:16 Marius Fourie, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Mzwanele Zito, 19 Stephan Vermeulen, 20 Renier Botha, 21 André Swart, 22 Eric Zana.
Golden Lions – 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi (c), 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronjé (c), 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Steph de Wit, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Bobby de Wee, 19 Ruaan Lerm, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Jacques Nel.
Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images