Fighting ingrained in Griquas' DNA
REACTION: Griquas went from a 54-point hiding by the Cheetahs last weekend to a 37-15 triumph at the Blue Bulls Saturday, and claimed a two-point lead in the South African Currie Cup.
The amazing transformation of the cinderella side came after they fell 10 points behind after 15 minutes against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.
But fears of another thrashing quickly disappeared as two tries from Zak Burger and superb goal-kicking by skipper George Whitehead established a 20-10 half-time advantage.
Griquas from Kimberley stretched the lead to 17 points before Bulls scored through Springbok Marco van Staden after a rolling maul.
That was as close as the once-mighty Bulls came to turning the game around and Victor Sekekete scored to help earn the visiting team a bonus-point victory for scoring four tries.
“We pitched up against the Bulls whereas we did not pitch up last Saturday,” said Whitehead when asked to explain the dramatic turnaround.
“Fighting back is part of the DNA of Griquas rugby. We set out to prove we were better rugby players than the result in Bloemfontein suggested.
“We are top of the table and have a bye next weekend before hosting Western Province and the Golden Lions in our remaining league matches.
“Griquas now control their destiny and that is a very nice position to be in for a team that was written off as outsiders before the season began.”
They have 15 points, the Lions 13, the Cheetahs 11, Western Province and the Pumas seven each, defending champions the Sharks six and the Bulls five.
The best four finishers after a single round qualify for the semi-finals and Griquas, one of only two contenders who have never played Super Rugby, are poised to reach the semi-finals.
Eduan Keyter was other try scorer for the winners and Whitehead did not miss a kick at goal, slotting four conversions and three conversions.
Whitehead is the leading Currie Cup scorer with 47 points, 10 more than Shaun Reynolds of the Lions and 17 ahead of Curwin Bosch from the Sharks.