Griquas pushed themselves into the Currie Cup mix thanks to a come-from-behind 23-20 win over Free State Cheetahs on Saturday.
Griquas pushed themselves into the Currie Cup reckoning thanks to a fine come-from-behind 23-20 victory over Free State Cheetahs on Saturday.
Trailing 9-20 with ten minutes to go, the home side mustered two converted tries to stun the Bloemfontein outfit in this mid-table meeting.
Once again it was the Griquas' main protagonists who came to the party, as wing Riaan Viljeon got the first of their tries on 70 minutes while Sarel Pretorius and Davon Raubenheimer caused their opponents problems on several occassions.
But the winner arrived on 74 minutes when centre Jean Stemmet crossed in an individual break that began on halfway. It was a fitting way to win the game.
The home team opened the scoring with full-back Rudi Vogt's penalty fifteen minutes into the match. He extended Griquas' lead eight minutes later when Cheetahs were penalised at scrum time.
FS Cheetahs scored their first try of the match when fly-half Sias Ebersohn received the ball with an open try line in front of him. He then converted.
Four minutes later, the Cheetahs went over the advantage line thanks to some crisp passing to the wing where props Coenie Oosthuizen and Marcel van der Merwe received the ball.
In most cases, one would expect the lesser skilled props to fumble the ball but their clever interplay proved crucial as they gave the ball to scrum-half Piet van Zyl who darted from the outside to score the Cheetahs' second try.
Four minutes before the interval, Vogt brought Griquas within five points of the Cheetahs' score with his third penalty conversion.
After the break, Ebersohn succeeded with two consecutive penalty conversions to extend his side's lead to eleven points.
The Cheetahs made numerous threatening runs but they could not make it count.
Their momentum was further stifled when Van der Merwe was sin-binned for an infringement at the ruck.
Shortly before he was set to return to the field, Griquas winger Viljoen got the breakthrough for his team with a superb individual try.
Viljoen beat two defenders selling the dummy pass on two occasions scoring with ten minutes left in the match, with Vogt converting.
With eight minutes left in the encounter, centre Stemmet put his side in front scoring a controversial try.
Stemmet ran the breadth of the field and crossed with one of his own team-mates which appeared to be obstructive running.
Fly-half Earl Rose converted the try to give his side a victory by three points.
Tries: Viljeon, Stemmet
Con: Rose 2
Pen: Vogt 3
For FS Cheetahs:
Tries: S Ebersohn, van Zyl
Con: S Ebersohn 2
Pen: S Ebersohn 2
Griquas: 15 Rudi Vogt, 14 Riaan Viljoen, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Dusty Noble, 10 Earl Rose, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jonathan Mokuena (capt), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Ivann Espag.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17, Kevin Stevens, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Matthew Rosslee/Hanno Coetzee, Wilmaure Louw.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Smit, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Pieter van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johan Wessels, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (capt), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Philip Burger.
Referee: Jason Jaftha