Griquas are back in the Currie Cup
Griquas are back in the Currie CupSHARE
Griquas secured their place in this year's Currie Cup competition thanks to a comprehensive 57-12 win over the SWD Eagles in their qualifying match at Outeniqua Park in George at the weekend.
Griquas had to win with a four-try bonus point to ensure that they could not be caught by the Leopards, who were second on the log heading in to the final week of qualifying matches.
Griquas lost their Currie Cup status in a two-match play-off series last year, but then SARU expanded the competition to eight teams – opening the door for Griquas to reclaim their Premier Division status.
In other matches at the weekend the Leopards beat the Border Bulldogs 103-15 shattering numerous records, while the Griffons beat the Falcons 29-20.
Final standings (under headings matches played, won and points):
Griquas – 6 – 6 – 28
Leopards – 6 – 5 – 27
Griffons – 6 – 3 – 18
SWD – 6 – 3 – 15
Boland – 6 – 2 – 12
Falcons – 6 – 2 – 10
Border – 6 – 0 – 2
All the weekend's action!
Leopards 103-15 Border
Wings Luther Obi and Sylvian Mahuza both scored four tries in the Leopards' 103-15 rout of Border Bulldogs in Olën Park in Potchefstroom.
They were the standout players in a 15-try extravaganza as the Leopards desperately tried to make up the one point which separated them from the Griquas in the qualifying competition for promotion to the Currie Cup.
But it all came to nothing when the Griquas themselves registered a bonus-point win over the SWD Eagles and earned promotion by just one point.
The Leopards never let up as they demolished a team which was destined to end without a win in the competition. Centre George Tossel added two tries to contributions from Hoffman Maritz, Dillon Smit, Morne Hanekom, Francois Robertse and Kobus de Kock. Springbok Andre Pretorius added 28 points with 14 conversions.
Border may have taken some heart when Masixole Banda slotted a penalty after just two minutes, but that was the last they were to see of the ball until half-time, when the Leopards were eight tries and 54-3 up, which included three tries from Mahuza and two from Obi.
Border did regain some pride when wing Michael Makase scored just after half-time, and Bangi Kobese added another five-pointer just before the close. But they were very much against the run of play.
The Leopards won five of their six qualifying matches, their only loss being a 32-33 reverse, despite a great fightback, against Griquas, and even in that they outscored their hosts four tries to three.
If there was any consolation, they can boast the two top try-scorers, in Obi and Mahuza, with 10 apiece, the highest number of try bonus points, the most tries scored (51) against 16 conceded and the greatest points difference.
But now they have to refocus on winning the First Division, which in this form is a more-than realistic prospect.
Tries: Obi 4, Mahuza 4, Tossel 2, Maritz, Smit, Hanekom, Robertse, De Kock
Cons: Pretorius 14
Tries: Makase, Kobese
Leopards: 15 Hoffman Maritz, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 12 George Tossel, 11 Luther Obi, 10 André Pretorius (captain), 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Morne Hanekom, 7 Henro-Pierre Swart, 6 Juan Language, 5 Francois Robertse, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 JC Oberholzer, 1 Mashudu Mafela.
Replacements: 16 Jacques Vermaak, 17 Stephan Bezuidenhout, 18 Molotsi Bouwer, 19 Rhyk Welgemoed, 20 Percy Williams, 21 Kobus de Kock, 22 Sergio Torrens.
Border: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Lundi Ralarala, 12 Makazole Maphimpi, 11 Sipho Nofemele, 10 Oliver Zono, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Rynardt van Wyk, 7 Siya Mdaka, 6 Lukhanyo Nomzanga, 5 Anthonie Gronum, 4 Wandile Putuma, 3 Buhle Mxunyelwa, 2 Blake Kyd (captain), 1 Yanga Xakalashe.
Replacements: 16 Ludwe Booi, 17 Siyamthanda Ngande, 18 Lindokuhle Welemu, 19 Athenkosi Manentsa, 20 Bangi Kobese, 21 Lithabile Mgwadleka, 22 Thembani Mkokeli.
SWD 12-57 Griquas
The Griquas will play in the Currie Cup this season after hammering the SWD Eagles 57-12 in their qualifying match at Outeniqua Park in George.
Griquas had to win with a four-try bonus point to ensure that they could not be caught by the Leopards, who were second on the log heading in to the final week of qualifying matches with their match kicking off half-an-hour later than the Griquas.
But the Griquas wrapped up the bonus-point try in the first half with eighthman Carel Greeff and hooker Ryno Barnes both scoring two tries.
The Griquas opened their account in the 11th minute after a chip and chase from scrumhalf Tian Meyer with Barnes on hand to crash over after the ball had been recycled from a ruck.
The visitors grabbed their second try just five minutes later when Greeff muscled his way over for an unconverted score.
SWD seemed to have no answer to Griquas' pace and power and they conceded the third try, in the 28th minute, when outside centre Jonathan Francke broke from a ruck on the Eagles' 10-metre line to sprint clear for a converted try.
The Griquas wrapped up their place in this year's Currie Cup in the 30th minute when right wing Ederies Arendse scooped up a loose ball before outstripping the cover defence to dot down in the corner to make the score 24-0.
Greeff collected his second try just before the break when he powered his way over after a scrum five metres from the SWD tryline.
The Griquas needed just four minutes of the second half to resume their scoring when tighthead prop Nicolaas van Dyk crashed over for a converted try after good work from flank Marnus Schoeman in the build-up.
The visitors continued their rampant run and they added further tries through Schoeman, Barnes, and Meyer with the Eagles managing two late tries through right wing Hentzwill Pedro and replacement loose forward Christo du Plessis.
Tries: Pedro, Du Plessis
Con: Van Vuuren
Tries: Barnes 2, Greeff 2, Francke, Arendse, Van Dyk, Schoeman, Meyer
Cons: Brummer 2, Scheepers 4
South Western Districts: 15 Elric van Vuuren, 14 Hentzwill Pedro, 13 Luzuko Vulindlu, 12 Gerrit Smith, 11 Brian Skosana, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Alwyn Bester, 6 Shaun Raubenheimer, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Kurt Haupt, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Replacements: 16 Wayne Khan, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Peet van der Walt, 19 Christo Du Plessis, 20 Mzo Dyantyi, 21 Daniel Roberts, 22 Clinton Wagman.
Griquas: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Wayne Stevens (captain), 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Hilton Lobberts, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Nicolaas Van Dyk, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Burger Schoeman, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Marais Schmidt, 22 PJ Vermeulen.
Griffons 29-20 Falcons
In a dead rubber the Griffons managed to move up to third place on the standings with a four-try bonus point win.
However, it was far from a satisfactory win – with the game littered with errors on both sides.
The Falcons came back late in the game to pile on some pressure, but the Griffons managed to hang on for a deserved win.
Tries: Nel 2, Le Roux, Sithole
Cons: Strydom 2, De Wet
Tries: Kotze, Hendricks
Cons: Kotze 2
Pens: Kotze 2
Griffons: 15 Tertius Maarman, 14 Vuyo Mbotho, 13 Joubert Engelbrecht, 12 Japie Nel, 11 Norman Nelson, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 Nicky Steyn (captain), 7 Erik le Roux, 6 Martin Sithole, 5 Mlungisi Bali, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Heinrich Roelfse, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Daniel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Hannes Snyman, 17 PW Botha, 18 Werner Lourens, 19 Frans Sisita, 20 Oshwill Nortje, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 Aubrey McDonald.
Falcons: 15 Kyle Hendricks, 14 Etienne Taljaard, 13 Grant Janke, 12 Willie Odendaal, 11 Riaan Arends, 10 Jaun Kotze, 9 Anrich Richter, 8 Ernst Ladendorf, 7 Jacques Verwey, 6 Andrew van Tonder (captain), 5 Jacques Alberts, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Devlin Hope, 1 Peet Vorster.
Replacements: 16 Chris Richardson, 17 Dandre van der Westhuizen, 18 JP Mostert, 19 Juan-Pierre Jonck, 20 Jaco Snyman, 21 Jaco Oosthuizen, 22 Andrew van Wyk.