The Cheetahs beat Griquas 18-22 in Kimberley to end their Currie Cup campaign on a winning note.
Dead rubber doesn’t come to life
The Dead rubber between Griquas and the Cheetahs kicked off in Kimberley with both sides looking to end disappointing campaigns on a high.
Anyone expecting a festival of rugby would have been let down by a first half that started slowly with reset scrums and errors from both sides.
Griquas thaought they had scored the opening try but were denied by the TMO who ruled that Alandre Van Rooyen had lost control of the ball as they mauled over the Cheetahs line.
Van Rooyen’s opposite number would claim the first score of the match after 20 minutes. Cheetahs hooker Marnus Van Der Merwe drove over from short range to make a sustained period of pressure pay for the visitors.
Griquas clawed their way back into the contest with a pair of penalty goals converted by Tinus De Beer.
On the stroke of half-time Frans Steyn added another three for the Cheetahs which saw them take a 10-6 lead into the break.
The second half started as the first did, with a string of errors. Griquas would finally get across the whitewash with Gideon Van Der Merwe coming up with the ball after they drove over the Cheetahs line, claiming his fifth try of the season. De Beer missed the conversion leaving the Currie Cup contest a 1-point game.
Soon after Griquas managed to repel the Cheetahs from close range as they stopped the drive from a five-metre lineout and retained their slender advantage with half an hour left on the clock.
The Cheetahs lacked rhythm on attack but still got their noses in front thanks to the boot of Steyn after Griquas players infringed at the breakdown.
Steyn demonstrated his danger with a 58-metre penalty that stretched the Cheetahs lead out to five points as the match moved into the final quarter.
Griquas were their own worst enemies, with a late hit preventing them from taking advantage of a loose pass intercepted by Eduan Keyter and allowing Steyn to make it 11-19 from the tee.
Substitute flyhalf George Whitehead missed a kick that would have brought Griquas within once score with less than ten minutes left in the match.
Daniel Kasende made the game interesting as he carved through the Cheetahs defence and scored next to the uprights to give Griquas hope of a first Currie Cup victory of the season.
Griquas had a great chance to launch a late attack but conceded a scrum-time penalty that allowed Steyn to push the Cheetahs out to an 18-22 lead.
Despite late pressure the Cheetahs held on to record a win to end their Currie Cup.
Griquas vs Cheetahs – teams
Griquas: 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Mox Mxoli. Replacements – 16 CJ Conradie, 17 Bandisa Ndlovu, 18 Tijde Visser, 19 Ewan Coetzee, 20 Siba Qoma, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Ederies Arendse, 24 Andrew Beerwinkel, 25 Raegan Oranje, 26 Masixole Banda.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 George Cronje, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner (captain), 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Boan Venter, Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rhyno Smith.