Griquas beat Lions in Currie Cup competition
August 20, 2016

Griquas have produced some of their best rugby to date to beat the Golden Lions 30-24 in their Currie Cup encounter at Griqua Park in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.

Playing without a main sponsor and taking on the Lions while in the last spot on the points log, it was thought that the Lions, who come from a bonus point victory in their first game and a good Super Rugby campaign, would dominate the hosts.

And a quick try in the starting seconds echoed what many fans had feared. But credit must go to the Peacock Blues, who played some of the best rugby this season to beat the visitors without a bonus point in a game where they were undoubtedly regarded as underdogs.

The Lions started with a good five pointer as early as the 37th second, with hooker Akker van der Merwe jotting down under the upright as Griquas fumbled a pass in the in back line. The hosts regained their concentration and even put together some impressive phases of play.

A penalty in the 16th minute was well deserved for Griquas and that spurred the hosts to put together more good phases. It resulted in them taking the lead for the first time in the game as full back AJ Coertzen rounded off a brilliant piece of play and centre Clinton Swarts converted.

The latter kicked a penalty to stretch the lead even further, and what followed was the almost unthinkable as Griquas started to dominate. Upfront their forwards put the Lions under immense pressure and it paid dividends as prop Stephan Kotze also burst over against a flabbergasted Lions side.

It again was a loose pass that enabled the Lions to sneak back as centre Howard Mnisi, himself a former Griquas player, picked up the loose ball and ran almost 60 metres to score. Jaco van der Walt was on hand to convert to lessen the lead the hosts have to eight points.

Two minutes from halftime Lions fly half Van der Walt was yellow carded for a tip tackle to emphasize the lacklustre first half the visitors had. Griquas went into the break leading 20-12, a deserving lead after an impressive first half.

The Lions no doubt got a stern talking to from coach Johan Ackermann at the break and it reflected in their approach. Flanker Cyle Brink jotted down amidst the one man deficit that Van der Walt’s absence left and replacement Marnitz Boshoff converted to leave the visitors trailing by a single point.

Griquas still had a lot of fight left in them, and continued pressure on the Lions meant that their defensive line started to show cracks. The hosts exploited that as scrum half Poerie van Rooyen took a quick tap from a penalty and scored under the uprights to give Swarts a easy conversion.

Both the Lions and Griquas got a little stagnant after that with play becoming loose and many passes not going to hand on both sides. A penalty by replacement back Andre Swart put Griquas ahead by 11 points. The Lions tried to reduce the deficit, and crept closer with a try in the 74th minute by replacement Corne Fourie, but it was too late as Griquas kept the lead for possibly the upset of the competition.


Griquas 30 (20): Tries: AJ Coertzen, Stephan Kotze, Poerie van Rooyen. Conversions: Clinton Swarts (3). Penalties: Swarts (2), Andre Swart.

Golden Lions 24 (12): Tries: Akker van der Merwe, Howard Mnisi , Cyle Brink, Corne Fourie. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt, Marnitz Boshoff .

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