Griquas blitz willing Kings
MATCH REPORT: Griquas scored 21 points in a six-minute blitz to set up a convincing 47-24 win over a willing Eastern Province Kings side in Kimberley on Wednesday.
The Kings showed real character to take a 17-14 lead at the half-time break.
However, three converted tries after the restart saw Griquas race into a 35-17 lead and the game was effectively over as a contest.
There were two more tries for the home team, before a late consolation score for the visitors, as the game ran to its predictable conclusion.
Kings coach Barend Pieterse admitted it was a game of two halves.
"I cannot fault the players for their effort," Pieterse said of his second-string selection - the result of having to play three games in eight days.
"Considering that we had one day of training to prepare for this match, there were a number of mistakes, but it is understandable.
"Match fitness did play a role to some degree, you could see the players were getting tired, but this is something we will have to deal with throughout the season, we will not use it as an excuse.
"What was exciting to see was the level of commitment and effort put in. There were definitely some players, such as Dylan Pieterse, Brandon Brown and Ganfried May, who put their hands up.
"Players like Hannes Huisamen, a teacher, who joined us on Monday and played today [Wednesday]. These players have given us a lot to think about ahead of Saturday's game.
"Yes it would have been nice to have come away with a win, but for us, it is not about winning or losing."
It was indeed a game of two halves - with the Kings having the momentum before the break and Griquas running wild in the second half.
Despite some determined efforts from both teams, the first score came only came in the 17th minute - when Griquas lock Wandile Putuma scored a try on debut. Clinton Swart converted and the home side was leading 7-0.
Three minutes later, however, the Kings retaliated when Alcino Izaacs dotted down the ball for his first try. Lungelo Goza converted for the Kings to level at 7-all.
Griquas extended their lead in the 29th minute when Jono Janse van Rensburg crossed the whitewash for the home side and Swart added the extras - 14-7.
Goza took a penalty kick from just inside the Kings' half, and, with a favourable wind from behind, the ball sailed neatly between the posts - 10-14 after 36 minutes.
In the dying minutes of the first half, Izaacs broke through the Griquas defence to cross the whitewash for his second try of the match. Goza converted and the Kings went into the break 17-14 up.
The second half, however, saw the game turn in favour of the home side, as they ran in three tries in the space of six minutes.
First Ederies Arendse, then Alshaun Bock and finally Adriaan Coertzen crossing the whitewash. All three tries were converted by Swart - ending the game as a contest, 35-17.
Coertzen crossed the whitewash again in the 68th minute for his second try, with Andre Swarts, who came on for Swart, missing the conversion.
The Kings' discipline also let them down, with Siphu Msutwana sent off with a yellow card in the 73rd minute for repeated infringements at the breakdown.
Griquas capitalised on the numbers advantage and Eric Zana dotted down the seventh try for the home side in the 74th minute. This time, Swarts' kick was good, 47-17.
The Kings were eventually rewarded for their persistence with a last-minute try when Cullen Collopy got the Kings first and only try of the second half. Pieter-Steyn de Wet converted the try as the hooter sounded - the game ending at 47-24.
Man of the match: A number of the Griquas players put their hands up in the second half and a few of the Kings before the break. However, our award goes to Griquas lock Wandile Putuma - who not only score a try on his Currie Cup debut but enjoyed the free-flowing, high-paced game.
Tries:Arendse, Bock, Coertzen 2, Janse van Rensburg, Putuma, Zana
Cons: C Swart 5, A Swarts
For the Eastern Province Kings:
Tries:Collopy, Izaacs 2
Cons: Goza 2, De Wet
Yellow card: Siphu Msutwana (Eastern Province Kings, 72 - repeated infringements, killing the ball at the breakdown)
Griquas: 15 Adriaan Coertzen (captain), 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jacobus Jonker, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 4 Wandile Putuma, 3 Stephan Kotzé, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Steven Meiring, 19 Thabo Mabuza, 20 Renier Botha, 21 André Swarts, 22 Eric Zana.
Eastern Province Kings: 15 Ganfried May, 14 Minenhle Mthethwa, 13 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 12 Johan Greyling, 11 Alcino Izaacs, 10 Lungelo Goza, 9 Jacques Fick, 8 Dirk Grobbelaar, 7 Brandon Brown, 6 Luke van der Smit, 5 Dylan Pieterse, 4 Hannes Huishamen, 3 Pieter Stemmet, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout (captain), 1 Barend Potgieter.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Cullen Callopy, 20 Vian van der Walt, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Siphumelele Msutwana.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Griffin Colby