Griquas survive Leopards Currie Cup scare

A last minute try by Griquas star fullback Riaan Viljoen helped Griquas defeat Leopards 29-20 in Kimberley on Friday night and keep their slim Currie Cup semi-final hopes alive.

But it was the men from Potchefstroom who led 17-15 at halftime. Viljoen’s second try of the night also earned his team a vital bonus point which could be crucial towards the end of the league stage.

But Griquas made far too many mistakes for a team hoping to qualify for the semi-finals.

The Leopards were first on the board in the sixth minute when Walter Venter picked up the ball next to the ruck and only had two metres to run in for the first score of the evening.

A brilliant 30 metre-run by hooker Ryno Barnes set up Viljoen’s first try. Barnes was brilliant all night with a few storming runs.

He worked just as hard in the loose. As so often this year, Griquas needed this score to help kick start them into action. Shortly after flanker Johan van Deventer dotted down for the hosts.

It was thanks to a nice break by Griquas outside-centre Wilmaure Louw who handed off two defenders before he was brought down centimetres short of the line.

Van Deventer only had to dive over the line to score. But a second Venter score announced the visitors presence that was evident throughout the game. They could easily have added another score or two if the ball bounced their way.

Venter’s second try was an even softer score. From first phase position Venter threw a dummy which Griquas easily brought and he was under the post without a hand being laid on him.

Leopards Clayton Durand who converted both tries and Naas Olivierboth added a penalty kick at goal in the first stanza.

Durand kicked his second three-pointer right from the start of the second period for a 20-15 lead.

In the 53th minute a Justin Downey try for the home team levelled matters before a Olivier conversion from the right-hand corner gave the Peacock Blues a slender 22-20 lead.

Unfortunately the second 40 minutes was just as ugly as the first. It was almost a case of who was going to make the next mistake.

Griquas had a few opportunities to earn the forth and bonus point try, but kept the crowd nervous until two minutes before the end when Viljoen’s try wrapped up the game.

Final Score Griquas 29 Leopards 20


Tries: Riaan Viljoen (2), Johan van Deventer, Justin Downey.
Conversions: Naas Olivier (3).
Penalties: Olivier.

Tries: Walter Venter (2).
Conversions: Clayton Durand (2)
Penalties: Durand (2).

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