Griquas into Rugby Challenge final
July 09, 2017

The Tafel Lager Griquas booked their spot in the inaugural final of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge with a stunning 33-21 victory (halftime 27-0) over the Xerox Golden Lions at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Sunday.

In a thrilling first half display, the Kimberley based outfit ran in three tries to take a near unassailable 27 point lead in what would turn out to be an upset over their more fancied rivals from Johannesburg.

The Lions gave an excellent account of themselves in the second half, scoring three tries themselves. However, their fairy-tale comeback was not to be as the Griquas closed the game out expertly to secure the victory.

Ederies Arendse opened the scoring for Griquas in the 10th minute with a try, which George Whitehead converted to make it 7-0.

Whitehead extended the lead to 13 points soon after with a brace of penalties, before tries from Ewald van der Westhuizen and Sias Koen saw Griquas almost run away with the contest.

Once more, Whitehead was successful with the boot and Griquas headed into the sheds with a 27-0 lead.

The Lions comeback started in the 48th minute, with James Venter crossing the chalk. His third try in two weeks following a stellar Man of the Match showing in the quarterfinal.

Speedy winger Madosh Tambwe added a brace soon after and Shaun Reynolds' accurate kicking boot ensured the score read 27-21 in Griquas favour with just over 20 minutes to play.

Andre Swarts then replaced Whitehead at flyhalf and the replacement made his presence felt almost immediately with a 69th minute penalty goal. He added a second three minutes later as Griquas created some daylight on the scoreboard.

The men from the Northern Cape held out in the last 10 minutes as the match ended 33-21 in Griquas favour. A fine win in the end and a deserved spot in the final, all thanks to a superb opening 40 minutes.


Griquas - Tries: Ederies Arendse, Ewald van der Westhuizen, Sias Koen; Cons: George Whitehead (3); Pens: Whitehead (2), Andre Swarts (2).

Lions - Tries: James Venter, Madosh Tambwe (2); Cons Shaun Reynolds (3).

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