Griquas produced a physically dominant display to defeat Western Province in Kimberley on Sunday in the final game of the penultimate round of the Currie Cup.
Griquas overcame a challenging first half to clinch a 46-25 victory at home. The result means Griquas have completed the double over Western Province this season and sees them replace their victims in the top four of the log with one round of fixtures to play before the semi-finals.
Despite what the scoreline suggests, this wasn’t as much a fierce contest as it was an error-strewn affair with both sides equally exploiting the other’s mistakes.
The first half in particular was difficult watch, even though a combined 42 points were scored. Griquas and WP went blow for blow. While no team was able to claim the ascendancy outright, Province were dominant in the scrums and earned a couple of penalties from the set piece to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The kick-off receipts on both sides were messy, allowing the opposition to attack the tryline at will.
Kickers Tim Swiel and George Whitehead had exchanged penalties before two tries either way put the hosts 17-15 up after the visitors had missed one of their conversion attempts.
Swiel would eventually put WP in the lead with a second penalty, but Griquas started playing to their strengths, which is forward dominance, towards the end of the half. And as the hosts’ forwards became more prominent, WP were forced onto the backfoot.
A try into stoppage time of the first half wrestle the ascendancy back from their visitors and from there it was one-way traffic.
Trailing 24-18 heading into the second half, WP were put to the sword. From the first kick off, they failed to exit the 22 and Griquas forced a 5m scrum from which they scored. Province failed to negate the direct physical challenge Griquas posed and soon and soon they conceded a fifth try when wing James Verity-Am went over in the right corner.
The action fizzled out, but Griquas enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory, which help them keep WP’s comeback attempts at bay.
Province eventually scored with about 15 minutes to go, but that proved to be a mere consolation effort as Griquas bagged 10 unanswered points in the last 10 minutes to turn the victory into a rout.