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Griquas put down pre-season marker

MATCH REPORT: Griquas put down an early marker with their 25-22 win over the Currie Cup champion Cheetahs in a pre-season friendly in Jacobsdal on Saturday.

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Despite being outscored by four tries to three, the boots of veteran utility back George Whitehead and flyhalf Lubabalo Dobela secured the win.

Griquas held a slender 15-12 lead at half-time and maintained that three-point advantage to the end.

The game was a warm-up ahead of the start of the SA Cup series later this month, while the Cheetahs are also preparing for their Round of 16 European Challenge Cup encounter with Clermont at Stade Marcel-Michelin on April 6.

Griquas had two previous pre-season outings – against Western Province and Boland.

Cheetahs forwards coach Izak van der Westhuizen said it was a great opportunity for those players who did not feature in the European encounters in December and January.

“Many of the guys [in this match] have not played since September last year,” Van der Westhuizen said.

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“There are aspects of our game we have to work on,” he said, adding: “But there are mostly positives from our side.

“We gave a lot of new players game time to familiarise them with the system.”

The scorers

For the Cheetahs
Tries: Kruger, Van Reenen, Van der Merwe, Sibabalo Xamlashe
Con: Van Reenen

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For Griquas
Tries: Sango Xamlashe, Ndimande, Uys
Cons: Dobela, Whitehead
Pens: Dobela, Whitehead

Teams

Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Andell Loubser, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Sibabalo Xamlashe, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Friedle Olivier, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Vernon Paulo, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Laurence Victor, 19 Thabang Mahlasi, 20 Ulrich Stander, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Litha Nkula, 23 Christiaan van der Westhuizen.

Griquas: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Marcqwien Titus, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Bingo Ivanisevic, 11 Sako Makata, 10 Lubabalo Dobela, 9 Bobby Alexander, 8 Carl Els, 7 Stephan Smit (captain), 6 Thabo Ndimande, 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Athenkosi Khetani, 3 Cebo Dlamini, 2 Sean Swart, 1 Kudzwai Dube.
Replacements: 16 Janco Uys, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Junior Banda, 19 Johan Retief, 20 Niel Otto, 21 Jac van der Walt, 22 Xavier Swartbooi, 23 Jay-Cee Nel, 24 Connor Mahoney, 25 Cameron Hufke.

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

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