Rampant Griquas end Cheetahs' unbeaten run
MATCH REPORT: The Griquas made a big statement beating the Currie Cup favourites Cheetahs 46-18 in Kimberley on Saturday.
The win sees the Griqaus leapfrog the Sharks and climb from fifth to the third spot on the Currie Cup table.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
The Cheetahs, on the hand, remain second but their hopes of claiming the No.1 spot took a massive hit – especially given the log-leaders Bulls’ win over Pumas on Friday.
It was an absolutely clinical performance from the Griquas, who scored seven tries including a penalty try in their romping.
The Peacock Blues outplayed the visitors from Bloemfontein in every aspect, punishing their neighbours’ mediocre defence and indiscipline to race into a 19-0 lead in the opening quarter.
The hosts wrapped up the four-try bonus point and held a commanding 24-8 at half-time and Pieter Bergh’s charges gave the much-vaunted visitors no way back after the break, scoring three more tries for a stunning win.
It was a frustrating afternoon for the Free Staters, who never got going and lost key man Frans Steyn to injury in the 23rd minute. They let themselves down with their first-time tackling and were dominated in the set pieces in the second half as well.
Griquas got off to a dream start courtesy of outside centre Sango Xamlashe, who burst through two tackles to dot down under the posts in the first two minutes, Zander du Plessis slotting the first of his three successful conversions.
More poor defence saw the Free Staters fall 0-12 behind as Munier Hartzenberg sliced through a cluster of would-be tacklers and offloaded to scrumhalf Johan Mulder to finish off.
Things went from bad to worse for the Cheetahs in the 18th minute when repeated infringements led to flyhalf Siya Masuku being sent to the sin bin and the men from the Northern Cape capitalised right away as hooker Janco Uys powered over for a five-pointer.
Adding injury to insult, Steyn then limped off as captain Ruan Pienaar put the visitors on the board off the tee. The 14-man Cheetahs managed the rest of the yellow card period expertly, Pienaar the pivotal party with his world of experience.
However, as soon as they were back to full complement, the visitors found themselves under their posts again after Champion of the Match Rynhardt Jonker had broken free and Luther Obi provided a top-class finish to bank the bonus-point try and stretch the lead to 24-3.
Hawies Fourie’s side needed inspiration in a hurry and it came via their magic man Rosko Specman, whose silky footwork created space for No 8 Mihlali Mosi to go over for their opening try at a critical time to head into halftime 8-24 down.
Obi ensured the Peacock Blues flew out of the blocks as they did in the first half, the explosive wing smashing through a trio of defenders to make it a double and take the score out to 31-8 three minutes into the second stanza.
The ruthless hosts turned the screws at scrum time next to earn another try-scoring opportunity and they converted with a driving maul and dot down by replacement hooker Gustav du Rand.
Griquas rubbed salt in the wounds when they forced the Free Staters to concede a penalty try with another dominant driving maul, which also saw replacement Cheetahs prop Conraad van Vuuren yellow-carded in the 69th minute.
Replacement forwards Jeandre Rudolph and Louis van der Westhuizen scored consolation tries for the well-beaten Cheetahs either side of a George Whitehead penalty goal as Griquas celebrated a memorable and all-important Central derby triumph.
Man of the match: There were so many standout performers in the Griquas side, wing Luther Obi was absolutely ruthless on attack while Johan Mulder dictated the play from scrumhalf. Janco Uys and Hanru Sirgel also deserve a mention, However, our nod goes to Griquas inside centre Rynhardt Jonker. The No.12 was incredible making lethal carries, setting up tries and his defence was just as impressive.
Tries: Xamlashe, Mulder, Uys, Obi 2, Pretorius, Penalty try,
Cons: Du Plessis 3
Tries: Mosi, Rudolp, Van Der Westhuizen
Yellow cards: Siyabonga Masuku (Cheetahs, 18- cynical foul, repeated infringements), Conrad van Vuuren (Cheetahs, 69 – cynical foul, collapsing the maul)
Griquas: 15 Ashlon Davids, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Rynhardt Jonker, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Alex-Zander Du Plessis, 9 Johan Mulder, 8 Sibabalo Qoma, 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Niel Otto (captain), 5 Derik Pretorius, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Kudzwai Dube.
Replacements: 16 Gustav du Rand, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Andries Schutte, 19 Cameron Lindsay, 20 Carl Els, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Christopher Hollis
Cheetahs: 15 Cohen Jasper , 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Siyabonga Masuku, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Mihlali Mosi, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Aidon Davis, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Cameron Dawson.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Ockie Barnard, 20 Jeandré Rudolph, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Referees: Phumzile Mbewu, Local
TMO: Christie du Preez
*Photo credit : @Cheetahs
Additional Source: SA Rugby