Griquas edged defending Currie Cup champions the Golden Lions 30-24 in Kimberley on Saturday to secure their first win of the season.
This is the first time in two years that the Lions lost a Currie Cup match after finishing last year's campaign unbeaten. They will take a solitary bonus-point for four tries scored, with them heading back to Johannesburg knowing they have work to do if they want to have a say in the latter stages of the competition.
For Griquas the victory gets them off the foot of the table and something to build on as they go forward.
Both the Lions' first two tries came off Griquas mistakes in the backline. Akker van der Merwe was quick to react on a loose pass from the home side to open the scoring with an opportunistic try.
Griquas took a solid lead midway through the first half through tries by AJ Coertzen and Stephan Kotze which, together with two penalties, gave them a 20-7 lead.
The Lions hit back shortly before the break after Howard Mnisi pounced on another loose ball from a misplaced Griquas pass but suffered a setback when Jaco van der Walt received a yellow card for a tip tackle on the stroke of half-time.
The Lions came out firing after the break and scored within a minute of the second half's start when Cyle Brink dotted down to close the gap to 20-19.
However, they couldn't build on that and after good build-up play by Griquas, who put together nine phases, they scored the match-winning try through Rudi van Rooyen.
The Lions were poor at the line-outs, losing at least four on their own throw, but got an opportunity to get back into the game midway through the second stanza with a penalty right in front of the posts. They decided to take a scrum instead but failed to score and when Andre Swarts slotted a penalty to make it 30-19, there were only 14 minutes left for the visitors to stage a comeback.
The Lions did eventually manage to score with five minutes to play, the try by Corne Fourie securing a bonus-point, but crucially Griquas held on to the ball in the final minutes to close the game down.
Tries: Coertzen, Kotze, Van Rooyen
Cons: Swart 3
Pens: Swart 2, Swarts
Tries: Van der Merwe, Mnisi, Brink, Fourie
Cons: Van der Walt, Boshoff
Griquas: 15 AJ Coertzen 14 JW Jonker, 13 Johnathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Jason Fraser 7 RJ Liebenberg (c), 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 4 Sias Koen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Mzwanele Zito, 19 Stephan Vermeulen, 20 Renier Botha, 21 Andre Swarts, 22 Eric Zana
Golden Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi (cc), 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronje (cc), 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Steph de Wit, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 MB Lusaseni, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Armand ‘Akker’ van der Merwe, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Bobby de Wee, 19 Ruaan Lerm, 20 Dillon Smit, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Jacques Nel.
Date: Saturday, August 20
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 14:10 local (12:10 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant Referees: Mpho Matsaung, Darren Colby
TMO: JJ Wagner