Griquas sneak in for late win

Griquas scored two late tries in quick succession to claim a 23-20 victory over the Cheetahs in Kimberley.

A 14-man Cheetahs team were cruising with a 20-9 lead with 10 minutes left on the clock and looked like claiming a much-needed win. However, Riaan Viljoen’s 45m break to the whitewash in the 71st minute closed the deficit to six points before the winger sparked a second try two minutes later, which centre Jean Stemmet finished off under the posts. The visitors returned to 15 men seconds after Stemmet’s try but failed in their pursuit for a match-winning score at the death as Griquas held on for a surprise win.

Griquas claimed the early ascendancy and ran a number of attacks into the Cheetahs’ red zone early on, but they could’nt breach the chalk and only profitted through two penalties via fullback Rudi Vogt’s boot. Flyhalf Sias Ebersohn and scrumhalf Piet van Zyl put the Cheetahs ahead with converted tries before Vogt added a late penalty for a 14-9 half-time scoreline.

Ebersohn kicked two penalties shortly after the break to give his team a healthy lead but prop Marcel van der Merwe’s yellow card for a professional breakdown foul proved a major turning point in the match. With a man down, the Cheetahs seemed capable of restricting Griquas, but the hosts converted two try-scoring opportunities in the final three minutes of Van der Merwe’s sin-binning to seal the victory.