Griquas pip Pumas in scrappy Kimberley clash
MATCH REPORT: The Griquas recorded a narrow 23-22 win over the Pumas on Saturday in Kimberley.
*As it happened: Griquas v Pumas
It was a very ill-discipline encounter with both teams copping multiple yellow cards.
Pumas flyhalf Eddie Fouche had a last-minute penalty attempt to win the match, but it drifted to the right, leaving his side desperately short of a remarkable comeback.
This, however, handed Scott Mathie a much-needed win at home for the very first time.
Griquas held a 11-0 lead at the break, but a strong second half by the Lowvelders – thanks to two tries and a penalty try – allowed them overtake the hosts on the scoreboard after 50 minutes, and they held onto the lead until the final two minutes of the match.
Six penalty goals by Griquas flyhalf Tinus de Beer – three of which were kicked in the last quarter of the match – however, proved decisive in the end.
The opening exchanges showed very little difference in the approach from both teams, who were not scared to use their backlines from first phase possession, but with both defences tight most of the attacking endeavours did not have the desired result – mainly due to ill-discipline at the breakdowns.
Playing with the wind at their backs, the home side enjoyed most of the territorial advantage early on and they soon crashed over from an attacking line-out drive, but the ball-carrier was held out.
The Pumas, with impressive tighthead prop Marne Coetzee showing his worth in his 50th outing for the Lowvelders, had the better of the scrum exchanges and that allowed them to relieve some of the early pressure.
Unfortunately for the Pumas, their discipline was poor, which handed the momentum back to Griquas time and again.
The first points of the match were compliments of a penalty goal by De Beer in the 27th minute.
The Pumas lost prop Morgan Naude to a leg injury after 30 minutes of play, but more misery was to follow as Etienne Taljaard (wing) failed to gather an up-and-under, and in a flash Daniel Kasende (wing) pounced on the error to score the first try of the match to take an 8-0 lead.
Pumas flank Willie Engelbrecht was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements in the process, and when they pulled down another maul, De Beer slotted his second penalty goal to lead 11-0 at the break.
Griquas were also dealt a blow just before the break as Adre Smith (lock) was yellow carded for foul language, which saw them being reduced to 14 men.
The visitors bounced back after the restart, as Brandon Valentine (replacement lock) had a strong run down the middle before the ball was recycled and Taljaard ran onto a deft grubber by Eddie Fouche, who finished neatly in the corner to score their first points.
Pumas hooker Simon Westraadt had no problem dotting down following another strong lineout maul and Fouche converted to push them into the lead – with the side scoring 12 points with Smith off the field.
With momentum favouring the Lowvelders, the hosts found themselves losing composure and structure, and the visitors were rewarded with a penalty try in the 55th minute after yet another maul was collapsed, and Sibablo Qoma (replacement loose forward) received a yellow card.
De Beer tried hard to sway things for his team with two long-range penalty goal attempts. The first one held up in the strong wind, but the second sliced through the uprights, cutting the visitors’ lead to five points, and simultaneously boosting his team’s momentum.
A third long-range effort by De Beer made it a two-point game with 18 minutes to play.
Fouche kicked a penalty goal to extend their lead back to five again, but with the home side slowly getting back some parity, this was short-lived as De Beer kicked back-to-back penalty goals to take his tally for the match to six, handing his team a one-point lead in the process.
Fouche had one more go on the final buzzer, but the flyhalf shanked the kick to the right, much to the delight of the home side.
Man of the match: While there wasn’t much for the highlight reel, our nod goes to Tinus De Beer. The Griquas flyhalf was the difference between a defeat and a win
Pens: De Beer 6
Tries: Taljaard, Westraadt, Penalty try
Yellow cards: Adre Smith (Griquas, 40 – deliberate offside), HJ Luus (Griquas, 54 – collapsing the maul), Sibabalo Qoma (Griquas, 55 – cynical foul), Phumzile Maqondwana (Pumas, 78 – repeated infringements)
Griquas: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 James Verity-Amm, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Stefan Ungerer (captain), 8 Carl Els, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Andries Schutte, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Nqobisizwe Mxoli.
Replacements – from: 16 Hendrik Luus, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 Tijde Visser, 19 Ewan Coetzee, 20 Sibabalo Qoma, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 Johnathan Francke, 23 Enver Brandt, 24 Bandisa Ndlovu, 25 Tiaan van der Merwe, 26 Reagan Oranje.
Pumas squad: Morgan Naude, Jaco Willemse, Simon Westraadt, Pieter van Vuren (captain), Marné Coetzee, Willie Engelbrecht, Daniel Maartens, Francois Kleinhans, Khwezi Mafu, Kwanda Dimaza, Brandon Valentin, Ignasias Prinsloo, Dewald Maritz, Hendrik van Schoor, Phumzile Maqondwana, Devon Williams, Ali Mgijima, Tapiwa Mafura, Erich Cronje, Eddie Fouche, Etienne Taljaard, Ginter Smuts, Wayne van der Bank, Chriswill September, Sebastian de Klerk.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby, Mpho Matsaung
TMO: Rasta Rasivhenge