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Rugby | Absa Currie Cup

Riaan Viljoen © Gallo Images

Griquas bounce back against Pumas



Griquas bounced back from conceding 50 points against Western Province by posting a half-century of points themselves in a 58-25 (halftime 22-20) victory over the Pumas in Kimberley on Friday.

It was the home side’s fourth win of the season and takes them to 20 points and third spot on the log, three behind WP and six behind the all-conquering Sharks.

For the Pumas, their fifth defeat from six matches leaves the newly-promoted men from Mpumalanga second from bottom with five points, one ahead of the bottom-placed Leopards.

For the Griquas faithful who had to endure their side’s tame capitulation to WP last Saturday, this performance was altogether more pleasing to the eye. The hosts ran in eight tries to their opponents’ three to leave the small crowd of no more than 1 000 heading home in high spirits.

Scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius was again in sparkling form, crossing for a try in each half to cap a fine performance. Fullback Riaan Viljoen was however not too far behind when it came to man-of-the-match discussions, the Springbok notching a brace of his own on a cold and windless Northern Cape night.

Flyhalf and captain Naas Olivier also revelled in the conditions, slotting six conversions and two penalties for a personal haul of 18 points that allowed his side to always maintain a safe buffer on the scoreboard.

Not that the Pumas didn’t make a game of it, mind you. Griquas, with tries from winger Rocco Jansen, Viljoen and Pretorius, went into the half-time break leading by a slender two points.

The near-parity at the break was achieved thanks to Pumas flyhalf Elgar Watts, who scored a try en-route to a first-half haul of 15 points supplemented by an excellent try from wing Shaun Venter.

Olivier extended Griquas’ lead to five points after 43 minutes with a penalty before the Pumas drew level three minutes later thanks to a driving try by flanker Junior Bester.

That, however, proved to be the last time the visitors would bother the scorers, as the home side proceeded to score 33 unanswered points in a 25-minute spell that began with lock Frikkie Spies crashing over in the 52nd minute and ended with replacement back Rudi Vogt rubbing salt in the wounds with a try three minutes from time.

Scorers:

Griquas 58 – Tries: Cecil Kemp, Frikkie Spies, Riaan Viljoen (2), Rocco Jansen, Rudi Vogt, Sarel Pretorius (2). Conversions: Naas Olivier (6). Penalties: Olivier (2).

Pumas 25 – Tries: Junior Bester, Elgar Watts, Shaun Venter. Conversions: Watts (2). Penalties: Watts (2).

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