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Griquas’ deadly accurate marksman Clinton Swart made the difference as his side held out for a 41-35 win over hosts Pumas in an entertaining Currie Cup match in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
Swart was named ‘Man-of-the-Match’ afterwards for his personal haul of 21 points via three conversions and five penalties.
Each side managed four tries but in the end, two Swart penalties made the eventual six-point difference.
The first half was a real ding-dong battle as the lead changed hands several times after the Pumas flyhalf Francois Brummer opened the scoring in the match with a fifth-minute penalty.
Brummer’s strike was the start of a 41-point first-half scoring spree which ended with Griquas enjoying a 23-18 lead after each side crossed for two tries. The difference was provided by the Griquas centre Clinton Swart who goaled both his side’s tries and then landed three penalties as well.
Bothe Griquas’ tries were scored by scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen. For Pumas, winger JP Lewis and lock Jannie Stander crossed the whitewashed. Brummer was on target with one conversion and two penalties.
Griquas leftwing Alshaun Bock was first to score when second-half play resumed and Swart added the conversion with a splendid kick from the touchline to open up a 12-point lead in the 43rd minute (30-18).
Eight minutes later, Pumas, the home side struck twice in quick succession to wrest the lead from Griquas. Flank Marnus Schoeman and hooker Frank Herne dotted down and Brummer was on target with both conversions. The 14-point advance allowed Pumas to take a 32-30 lead.
Swart goaled a 66th-minute penalty and another moments later and Griquas regained the lead at 36-32.
The lively Griquas flank Wendal Wehr who produced a real workmanlike performance on the night was next to cross, and for once Swart failed with the conversion (41-32).
Pumas produced a strong finish in search of nine points to at least save the match but a Brummer penalty was their only score in the closing stages.
Final Score Pumas 35 (18) Griquas 41 (23)
Tries: JP Lewis, Jannie Stander, Marnus Schoeman, Frank Herne
Conversions: Francois Brummer (3)
Penalties: Brummer (3)
Tries: Rudi Van Rooyen (2), Alshaun Bock, Wendal Wehr
Conversions: Clinton Swart (3)
Penalties: Swart (5)
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