Francois Brummer kicked a drop goal after the hooter as Griquas beat the Sharks 21-18 at Kings Park on Saturday, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
The Sharks thought they had secured a draw when, with five minutes remaining, Thomas du Toit picked up the ball from a ruck, saw no defenders in front of him and sprinted away to score a converted try.
But Griquas dominated possession from the restart and patiently worked their way into the Sharks 22. After 10 phases, Brummer fell back into the pocket and slotted the drop goal from 26m out. Griquas would have been awarded a penalty had he missed, as the Sharks went offside in their desperation to charge him down.
It was a well deserved victory for the visitors, who led 9-3 after 20 minutes thanks to three penalties from Gouws Prinsloo.
The Sharks hit back after turning down a shot at goal and kicking for the corner. They won the resultant lineout and set up a driving maul from which Lourens Adriaanse went over.
But Fred Zeilinga missed the simple conversion and another two Prinsloo penalties gave the visitors a seven-point lead at the break.
The Sharks pushed hard for a try early in the second half, opting to take a scrum from a penalty and then keeping the ball with their forwards, who came within inches of scoring before conceding a breakdown penalty.
Griquas were reduced to 14 men when Ederies Arendse was yellow-carded for a professional foul at the breakdown, and again the Sharks opted for a 5m scrum. This time Matt Stevens was penalised for going to ground, and the hosts' frustration grew.
Lionel Cronjé missed his first penalty attempt after coming on for Zeilinga before slotting his second, but Gouws restored the seven-point lead soon after.
Then came Du Toit's match-levelling try and Brummer's after-the-hooter heroics that consigned the Sharks to a second shock defeat in as many weeks.
Sharks – Tries: Lourens Adriaanse, Thomas du Toit. Conversion: Lionel Cronjé. Penalties: Fred Zeilinga, Cronjé.
Griquas – Penalties: Gouws Prinsloo (6). Drop goal: Francois Brummer.
Sharks – 15 Jaco van Tonder, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Marco Wentzel, 19 Johan Meyer, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Lionel Cronjé, 22 Tim Swiel.
Griquas – 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 PJ Vermeulen, 10 Francois Brummer (c), 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Carel Greeff, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Maks van Dyk, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Burger Schoeman, 20 RJ Liebenberg, 21 Abrie Griesel, 22 Dean Grant.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images