Replacement flyhalf George Whitehead scored a try and kicked 13 points as Griquas beat the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night and advanced to their first Currie Cup final since 1970.
Griquas scored 24 points in the second-half as they shocked the defending champions 30-19.
A tightly contested first-half conceded just one try, as returning Bok prop and Bulls captain Lizo Gqoboka crashed over for the Bulls after 25 minutes and 22-year-old flyhalf Juan Mostert obliged with the extras.
With the half-time siren already sounded, Whitehead slotted a penalty to make it 7-3 at the break.
Whitehead banged over another penalty shortly after the restart before the Bulls were reduced to 14 men. Jacques van Rooyen was yellow-carded for a dangerous cleanout, and the tighthead prop watched from the sidelines as Whitehead slotted his third penalty to put Griquas into the lead for the first time with 30 minutes to go.
Van Rooyen would have broken into a cold sweat when, a few ticks later, Griquas flanker Hanru Sirgel dotted down, and he’d barely left the naughty chair when Whitehead straightened up onto a pass to score and convert for a 23-7 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
It looked like the Bulls might bounce back when replacement scrumhalf Bernard van der Linde sniped for a try that cut the deficit to nine points with eight minutes remaining.
But their comeback hopes were dashed when replacement No 8 Stephan Smit was sent to the bin following a penalty try. Though the Bulls scored a late consolation try through Mostert, it was too little too late as the referee blew for full-time and Griquas celebrated the end of an impressive semi-final victory and a very long Currie Cup finals drought.