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Griquas sneak home in extra time
Duane Heath
MWP
April 29, 2011
Former Springbok Earl Rose scored a try deep in the second period of extra time as Griquas beat the Pumas 37-33 (fulltime 30-30; halftime 15-20) at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday night to qualify for the semifinals of the Vodacom Cup.

It was the second quarterfinal in a row that went down to the wire in such dramatic fashion, after the Pampas XV earlier on Friday scored a try in the 18th minute of extra time to beat the Free State Cheetahs 41-34 in Potchefstroom.

As in Potch, in Kimberley it required a last-gasp try in regulation time and another 20 extra-time minutes for Griquas to make it through, after they had never looked like winning for the first 76 minutes.

The first half of regular time produced a keenly contested battle in which the visitors undoubtedly held the upper hand. The Pumas’ rush defence seemed to have caught Griquas off guard, while they were also highly successful in closing their opponents down behind the gainline.

Griquas simply didn’t seem sharp at all -- too often, once-off runners got isolated and their passing was terrible at times.

Defensively the Pumas found holes too frequently, as when Ricardo Croy, the Pumas’ composed flyhalf, easily stepped past inside centre Matt Rosslee midway through the first half to score under the posts and convert to open up a 17-12 lead.

Earlier, scrumhalf Tian Meyer opened their account as early as the fifth minute when he went blindside from a driving mall without a hand being laid on him.

Griquas responded with two tries in quick succession, the first an individual piece of cleverness from scrumhalf Jandré Blom.

Regaining position from a Pumas handling error, Blom chipped ahead in open space and with the ball bouncing up fortuitously he only had to run it in.

Wilmaure Louw also dotted down for the men from Kimberley, but from there on the Pumas dominated matters.

With only five minutes of play remaining, Meyer intercepted and ran clear for what seemed to be the winning try, as Croy’s conversion made it 30-18.

But Griquas kept their best rugby for the last four minutes as first Jaco Nepgen scored, which Vogt converted. Then, from the receiving kick-off, Vogt broke the line and another four players handled before winger Richard Lawson finished off in the right-hand corner for a brilliant score.

Vogt however couldn’t convert and extra time was needed to separate the teams.

Croy gave his team the edge with his fourth penalty, but Rose had the final say to give his team a famous victory.

Scorers:

Griquas 37 – Tries: Jandré Blom, Wilmaure Louw, Jaco Nepgen, Richard Lawson, Earl Rose. Conversions: Rudi Vogt (3). Penalties: Vogt (2).

Pumas 33 – Tries: Tian Meyer (2), Ricardo Croy. Conversions: Ricardo Croy (3). Penalties: Ricardo Croy (4).

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