Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
10 Jun 2022
8:37 pm

Griquas pull off the great Currie Cup escape once again

Ross Roche

Early penalties either side of the first try to Pumas inside centre Eddie Fouche, meant the home side were in the game at 14-6 after 25 minutes.

Pumas flyhalf Tinus de Beer in action during his man-of-the-match performance despite his team going down 45-44 against the Griquas in the Currie Cup at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday night. Picture: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

For the second game in a row the Griquas pulled off a great Currie Cup escape, slotting a penalty after the fulltime hooter to steal a 45-44 (halftime 14-30) win over the Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday night.

It was a dead rubber match as both teams were confirmed as semifinalists when the Sharks lost to Western Province earlier in the day, but neither side played like that with a thrilling try fest battled out in the end.

It was the Griquas who took early charge of the match as scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer sniped over and a quick tap caught the Pumas defenders napping with flank Hanru Sirgel forcing his way over, with both converted by flyhalf George Whitehead.

Early penalties either side of the first try to Pumas inside centre Eddie Fouche, meant the home side were in the game at 14-6 after 25 minutes.

A crazy final 10 minutes of the half then saw the Pumas power their way into a big lead, as first Tapiwa Mafura dotted down a grubber, before flyhalf Tinus de Beer knocked over a drop goal to give them a 16-14 lead after 34 minutes.

Two more tries in the final three minutes of the half, prop IG Prinsloo powering over and scrumhalf Chriswill September dotting down, both converted by Fouche then gave them a surprisingly comfortable 16 point lead at the break.

The Griquas then hit back first in the second half as scrumhalf Johan Mulder scored, with replacement flyhalf Theo Boshoff adding the extras.

But the Pumas again restored their halftime lead as Mafura picked up a loose ball and sprinted away to score, with the extras from Fouche putting them 37-21 up after 55 minutes.

Griquas wing Munier Hartzenberg then responded for his team three minutes later, going over for a converted score to make it a nine point game.

Two tries to either side in two minutes then kept the match ticking, inside centre Rynhardt Jonker stepping through to score, followed by the Griquas missing the kick-off allowing wing Jade Stighling to catch the ball and run away to score, making it 44-35 after 66 minutes.

With less than two minutes remaining Griquas replacement forward Werner Gouws grounded a very scrappy try, with Boshoff’s conversion making it a two point game.

From the kick-off the Griquas made their way back up field, with them aided by the ref missing a blatant forward pass, which allowed them to earn a penalty just in the Pumas 22m out wide, with Boshoff confidently stepping up and stroking it through the uprights for a dramatic win.

Scorers

Griquas: Tries – Stefan Ungerer, Hanru Sirgel, Johan Mulder, Munier Hartzenberg, Rynhardt Jonker, Werner Gouws; Conversions – George Whitehead (2), Theo Boshoff (4); Penalty – Boshoff

Pumas: Tries – Tapiwa Mafura (2), IG Prinsloo, Chriswill September, Jade Stighling; Conversions – Eddie Fouche (5); Penalties – Fouche (2); Drop Goal – Tinus de Beer