Adriaanse was 'pure class'
Griquas captain Ryno Barnes paid tribute to discarded Springbok Lourens Adriaanse, after his team's big upset in Durban.
Griquas targeted the set-pieces and the breakdowns as they snatched a last-ditch 32-30 victory over the much-fancied Sharks in their Currie Cup match at King's Park in Durban on Friday.
The Northern Cape side sealed the victory through an 82nd-minute try from close range by replacement flank Carel Greeff and right wing Nico Scheepers' conversion.
The victory was nothing more than Griquas deserved as they outplayed the Sharks in the set-pieces, especially the scrums.
The men from Kimberley raced into a 13-0 lead in as many minutes, before the Sharks worked their way back into the game – looking likely winners with a 30-25 lead and time officially up on the clock.
But another powerful scrum, which resulted in a penalty, set up the opportunity for the late winning score.
Barnes felt it was the return of Adriaanse, who failed to make the final cut for the Boks squad ahead of the Rugby Championship, that set the stage for the win.
It is under the new scrum engagement sequence, which appears to be favouring powerful scrums rather than quick-hitting and collapsing props, that contributed.
"I thought we scrummed well," Barnes said after the Durban win.
"Last week, when we played [in a pre-season friendly] against the Cheetahs, it didn't go so well," he said of the scrums.
"[The return of] Lourens Adriaanse made a massive difference and the honour must go to him, and the rest of the pack."
Sharks captain Jacques Botes, a late replacement when regular skipper Keegan Daniel pulled out with an injury, admitted the new scrum sequence was a problem for his team.
"[In] a first game like that, there will always be some trial-and-error situations," Botes said, adding: "Some things you get right and some you don't.
"We battled a little bit in our set piece and all credit to them, they really played well."
Barnes admitted that his team target the set pieces as a key area.
"We said in the dressing room that we want to focus on the stuff that we are good at," the Griquas captain said.
"That worked for us in the first 20 minutes.
"Then, unfortunately, two kick-offs went awry and they came back into the game – at least we snatched it at the end."
Botes expressed his disappointment in his team's late lapse.
"It is always unfortunate to lose that way," he said of the late penalty and try that saw Griquas snatch the victory.
"I feel we worked hard to get back in the game [after going down 0-13 early], but towards the end they gutsed it out and got the win."