New Nation Pumas flyhalf Eddie Fouche had a last-minute penalty attempt to win the match, but it drifted to the right, leaving his side desperately short of a remarkable comeback.
This, however, handed Scott Mathie a much-needed win at home for the very first time.
Tafel Lager Griquas held a 11-0 lead at the break, but a strong second half by the Lowvelders - thanks to two tries and a penalty try - allowed them overtake the hosts on the scoreboard after 50 minutes, and they held onto the lead until the final two minutes of the match.
Six penalty goals by Tafel Lager Griquas flyhalf Tinus de Beer - three of which were kicked in the last quarter of the match – however, proved decisive in the end.
The opening exchanges showed very little difference in the approach from both teams, who were not scared to use their backlines from first phase possession, but with both defences
tight most of the attacking endeavours did not have the desired result - mainly due to ill-discipline at the breakdowns.
Playing with the wind at their backs, the home side enjoyed most of the territorial advantage early on and they soon crashed over from an attacking line-out drive, but the ball-carrier was held out.
The Pumas, with impressive tighthead prop Marne Coetzee showing his worth in his 50th outing for the Lowvelders, had the better of the scrum exchanges and that allowed them to relieve some of the early pressure.
Unfortunately for the New Nation Pumas, their discipline was poor, which handed the momentum back to Tafel Lager Griquas time and again.
The first points of the match were compliments of a penalty goal by De Beer in the 27th minute.
The Pumas lost prop Morgan Naude to a leg injury after 30 minutes of play, but more misery was to follow as Etienne Taljaard (wing) failed to gather an up-and-under, and in a flash Daniel Kasende (wing) pounced on the error to score the first try of the match to take an 8-0 lead.
New Nation Pumas flanker Willie Engelbrecht was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements in the process, and when they pulled down another maul, De Beer slotted his second penalty goal to lead 11-0 at the break.
Tafel Lager Griquas were also dealt a blow just before the break as Adre Smith (lock) was yellow carded for foul language, which saw them being reduced to 14 men.
The visitors bounced back after the restart, as Brandon Valentine (replacement lock) had a strong run down the middle before the ball was recycled and Taljaard ran onto a deft grubber by Eddie Fouche, who finished neatly in the corner to score their first points.
New Nation Pumas hooker Simon Westraadt had no problem dotting down following another strong lineout maul and Fouche converted to push them into the lead – with the side scoring 12 points with Smith off the field.
With momentum favouring the Lowvelders, the hosts found themselves losing composure and structure, and the visitors were rewarded with a penalty try in the 55th minute after yet another maul was collapsed, and Sibablo Qoma (replacement loose forward) received a yellow card.
De Beer tried hard to sway things for his team with two long-range penalty goal attempts. The first one held up in the strong wind, but the second sliced through the uprights, cutting the visitors’ lead to five points, and simultaneously boosting his team’s momentum.
A third long-range effort by De Beer made it a two-point game with 18 minutes to play.
Fouche kicked a penalty goal to extend their lead back to five again, but with the home side slowly getting back some parity, this was short-lived as De Beer kicked back-to-back penalty goals to take his tally for the match to six, handing his team a one-point lead in the process.
Fouche had one more go on the final buzzer, but the flyhalf shanked the kick to the right, much to the delight of the home side.
Tafel Lager Griquas 23 (11) - Try: Daniel Kasende. Penalty Goals: Tinus de Beer (6).
New Nation Pumas 22 (0) - Tries: Etienne Taljaard, Simon Westraadt, Penalty Try. Conversion: Eddie Fouche. Penalty Goal: Fouche.