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Lions hold off Griquas
Jason Humphries
MWP
September 07, 2013

The MTN Golden Lions held off a determined GWK Griquas to clinch an exciting 38-32 (half-time 17-19) win in their Absa Currie Cup Premier Division match at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.

The Lions scored six tries to four but the lead changed hands five times during the game while the Griquas held a narrow two-point lead at half time.

The visitors played the last eight minutes with only 14 men after wing Anthony Volmink was yellow-carded for a spear tackle and the Griquas camped on the Lions’ tryline in the last few minutes of the game, forcing a succession of penalties but the resolute defence from the visitors made sure of the victory.

Griquas made a strong start to the match and they nabbed their first try as early as the third minute after a superb midfield break from Howard Mnisi saw the inside centre gallop all of 30 metres before off-loading to his centre partner Jean Stemmet who rounded off the move.

The Lions struck back six minutes later as flyhalf Elton Jantjies slipped through a gap before the ball went through four pairs of hands with hooker Robbie Coetzee on hand to round off the move for a converted try.

Both teams were showing an eagerness to run the ball and the Lions extended their lead in the 18th minute when Volmink flopped over from close range for an unconverted try although Volmink was rather fortunate as replays showed that he had stepped on the touchline in the act of scoring but the incident was missed by the match officials.

The Griquas were trailing 5-12 but they were back in the contest just two minutes later when fullback PJ Vermeulen rounded off a sweeping backline move that had start on the host’s 10-metre line with flyhalf Francois Brummer adding the conversion to level the scores.

The topsy-turvy nature of the match continued as the Lions regained the lead, in the 26th minute, as some superb interplay between backs and forwards saw the ball moved through 11 phases of play before right wing Andries Coetzee jogged over for an unconverted try.

However, the hosts made sure of a half-time lead when, three minutes before the break, eighthman Carel Greeff powered his way over for a try after a strong Griquas scrum five metres from the Lions’ tryline.

The Griquas scored the first points of the second half, through a Brummer penalty, but the Lions regained the lead, in the 53rd minute, when a period of sustained pressure allowed lock Franco van der Merwe to crash over in the left-hand corner with Jantjies slotting the tough conversion attempt to put the Lions into a two-point lead.

But the hosts came storming back once again and edged into a one-point lead thanks to another Brummer penalty before the impressive Mnisi kicked ahead a loose ball after a Jantjies knock on with the centre chasing through to dot down.

The Griquas led 32-24 after three quarters of the game but the Lions would not go away and they cut the deficit to just one point, in the 62nd minute, when fullback Marnitz Boshoff scythed through the defence on his way to a converted try.

The Lions stormed into the lead five minutes later when flank Jaco Kriel was mauled over for a converted try and what proved to be the winning score before Volmink’s yellow-card set up the tense finish.

SCORERS

GWK Griquas – Tries: Jean Stemmet, PJ Vermeulen, Carel Greeff, Howard Mnisi; Conversions: Francois Brummer (3); Penalties: Brummer (2).

MTN Golden Lions – Tries: Robbie Coetzee, Anthony Volmink, Andries Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Marnitz Boshoff, Jaco Kriel; Conversions: Boshoff, Elton Jantjies (3).

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