Griquas triumph in thriller

Griquas are the Vodacom Cup champs, downing the Leopards 27-25 in a thriller in Kimberley.

Michael Vlismas reports that Griquas won the title with the last movement of the match when hooker Tiaan Lienbenberg powered over from a lineout drive.

Griquas dominated early in the match and had the Leopards under tremendous pressure, especially in the scrums. But the Leopards stood firm and absorbed this well to keep their hosts off their tryline.

All the drama was reserved for the latter part of the game when Braam van Straaten kicked a penalty to give the home team a 22-20 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Leopards centre Ronnie Cooke, named Man of the Match for his efforts despite being on the losing team, alleviated some of that pressure for the Leopards by scoring a brilliant try with just five minutes left. Cooke’s second try of the match came after good lineout ball and the five points again shifted the advantage to the Leopards.

But the visitors made a massive tactical error after yet another onslaught by Griquas. After a scrum five metres from their tryline, the Leopards secured the ball and it went to flyhalf Naas Olivier who was standing in his in-goal area. Instead of kicking, Olivier passed the ball to Bertus Swanepoel who shanked his kick out of touch only 10 metres from his team’s tryline to set up the lineout that would lead to the winning try.

Wildeklawer Griquas 27 (12)
Tries: JP Joubert, Tiaan Liebenberg. Conversion: Braam van Straaten. Penalties: Ederich Prinsloo (4), Braam van Straaten (1).

Impala Leopards 25 (13)
Tries: Ronnie Cooke (2), Frans Conradie. Conversions: Naas Olivier (2). Penalties: Naas Olivier (2).