Griquas win ding-dong battle
Brendon Atwell
August 26, 2016

Clinton Swart scored 21 points as Griquas secured a 41-35 (halftime 23-18) Currie Cup Premier Division victory over the Steval Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.

The Griquas centre, who landed the man of the match award for his efforts, had a near-perfect night with the boot, missing just one of his nine kicks at goal while succeeding with five penalties and three conversions as both sides scored four tries each in a match that swung like a wild pendulum.

Both sides scored two tries in each half with the visitors securing a five-point lead at the break with Pumas hooker Frankie Herne spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin for cynical play.

Griquas were not able to use their one-man advantage too much as Swart landed just two penalties with Herne off the field.

Flyhalf Francois Brummer gave the home side an early lead through a penalty after just four minutes but Swart cancelled out his effort with a penalty of his own.

The home side showed some deft touches after a strong maul was halted in its tracks with scrumhalf Emile Temperman whipping the ball out to the left and fullback Devon Williams flicking the ball onto JP Lewis with the left winger racing down the touchline to score the opening try.

The lead was short-lived as flanker Sias Koen broke down the blind-side after the kick-off, popping the ball to scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen, who dived over the line for the first of his two tries.

Swart converted to give the visitors a slender two-point advantage. Brummer regained the lead for the Pumas before lock Jannie Stander barged his way over for a try which Brummer converted.

Herne was then shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Berry for slowing the ball down while off his feet and Swart managed to slot two penalties while the hooker was keeping the sideline chair warm.

But straight after Herne returned to the field, Griquas managed to go through seven phases which allowed Van Rooyen to go over for his second try on the stroke of halftime, which Swart converted.

The men from Kimberley began the second half strongly with left wing Alshaun Bock racing down the left-hand touchline to score after some excellent vision from Jonathan Frank.

The outside centre read the play well from the base of a ruck, switching play to the left to outfox the Pumas defence, allowing Bock all the space in the world to score the third try for Griquas.

Swart landed the extra points to hand the visitors a 12-point cushion.

However, the Pumas raised their game and came storming back, registering two converted tries to lead by two points with the final quarter of the game left to play.

First, Temperman picked up from the base of a ruck on the Griquas line and dived over and then Herne ran the perfect line at pace, taking a pass from Van Rooyen to barge his way over the line for the bonus-point try and redeem himself after the yellow card he copped in the first half.

Two penalties from Swart gave Griquas a four point advantage before flanker Wendal Wehr stole the ball in the tackle from the kickoff, and charged down the field unchallenged for the visitors' bonus-point try.

Despite Brummer landing his third penalty of the night, the home side were unable to find a converted try in the last three minutes which would have clinched victory.

The Pumas have yet to taste victory in this year's campaign while Griquas have now won two of their three matches to date.

The Pumas' next match is against Boland next Friday in Wellington while Griquas host the Cavaliers in Kimberley on 8 September.


Steval Pumas - Tries: JP Lewis, Jannie Stander, Emile Temperman, Frankie Herne; Conversions: Francois Brummer (3); Penalties: Brummer (3).

Griquas - Tries: Rudi van Rooyen (2), Alshaun Bock, Wendal Wehr; Conversions: Clinton Swart (3); Penalties: Swart (5).

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