Late Griquas heroics earns draw with Pumas

A late Griquas try and some Trojan defence had them hold out against the Pumas to come away with two log points and a spot in the Currie Cup playoffs.

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In a match that never quite found its rhythm, the Griquas left it late to come away with a 13-13 draw courtesy of a try by Chris Hollis in the 72nd minute.

Matchflow: With semi-final spots on the line, the pressure of the occasion was obvious with both sides lacking their usual fluidity. The Pumas held a slender two-point lead at half time following a try by Tapiwa Mafura.

It was the visiting Pumas who looked to take control after the break and, when Sebastian de Klerk crossed for their second try, victory looked certain.

Griquas, however, came roaring back with a try of their own through wing Chris Hollis to level the scores at 13 apiece.

As the minutes ticked away the Pumas had one last attacking opportunity but opted not to kick for goal, instead seeking their third try. It is a decision they may come to regret as a knock-on ended the match with the scores level.

Griquas coach Scott Mathie admitted that while it wasn’t a pleasing game to watch, he was happy to come away with points “by hook or by crook”. 

The Pumas will feel that they had the better of the match for the most part but lacked the necessary finishing instinct. Two tries ruled out by TMO intervention and a host of errors at crucial moments held back Jimmy Stonehouse’s men. 

Both sides will now anxiously await the result of this evening’s match between the Sharks and Western Province. If the Sharks can come away with victory, then both the Pumas and the Griquas will be through to the semi-finals. A victory for Western Province, however, could have them overtake the Pumas on the log and sneak into the semi-finals.