Golden Lions upset Griquas
The MTN Golden Lions pulled off something of a surprise victory as they overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the GWK Griquas 35-30 (halftime 8-17) in their Vodacom Cup North Section match in Kimberley on Saturday.
The Lions found themselves trailing 24-8 midway through the second half but they never threw through in the towel as they outscored their opponents four tries to two.
The match only kicked into gear 25 minutes into the contest as speedy Lions’ left wing Anthony Volmink showed a deft touch to outfox the last Griquas defender.
However, Griquas exerted theri first half dominance into points thanks to a try from lock Ligtoring Landman and four penalties from fullback Rudi Vogt as the hosts took a 17-8 halftime lead. Vogt would end the match with 20 points to his name courtesy of six penalties and a conversion.
The Lions took a very long time to emerge from the dressing room after the break – probably because of a serious pep talk from coach, Deon Davids.
But Davids probably would have felt he needed to be clearer, because seconds into the half his team threw a poor pass which Griquas wing Jannie Boshoff intercepted before handing off an opponent on his way to scoring under the posts.
However the four-time champion Lions displayed plenty of fighting spirit and recovered to lead 25-24 midway through the second stanza.
Jaco Kriel and Robert de Bruyn both scored tries and Guy Cronjé added seven points with his boot during the fightback.
For large portions of the second half the Griquas were forced into a defensive role which was in sharp contrast to the first half when they had been dominant.
The lead then changed hands on more than one occasion before Lions replacement wing Garth April finally secured the win for the visitors with a superb, late try.
GWK Griquas - Tries: Ligtoring Landman, Jannie Boshoff. Conversion: Rudi Vogt. Penalties: Vogt (6).
MTN Golden Lions - Tries: Anthony Volmink, Jaco Kriel, Robert de Bruyn, Garth April. Conversions: Guy Cronjé (3). Penalties: Cronjé (3).