Home Sport Griquas confirm their SA Cup pedigree in nail-biter against Pumas

Griquas confirm their SA Cup pedigree in nail-biter against Pumas

499

The Suzuki Griquas cemented their place at the top of the SA Cup log, in a nail-biting thriller at Suzuki Griquas Park on Friday afternoon when they beat the Airlink Pumas 31-26, maintaining their run as the only unbeaten team left in the competition.

The Suzuki Griquas held their nerve and outplayed the Airlink Pumas in a tough encounter in Kimberley on Friday afternoon. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE SUZUKI Griquas cemented their place at the top of the SA Cup log, in a nail-biting thriller at Suzuki Griquas Park on Friday afternoon when they beat the Airlink Pumas 31-26, maintaining their run as the only unbeaten team left in the competition.

Fans were treated to an intense clash right from the kick-off, when both teams came out swinging. The Pumas drew first blood with an early penaly, but Griquas’ Thabo Ndimande made the first visit behind the whitewash; George Whitehead was on song with the conversion and the hosts took a 7-3 lead early on.

The Griquas forwards had their tails up and relentlessly pushed towards the Pumas’ try line, but their efforts were thwarted when they infringed and gave away a penalty. The Pumas continued to apply immense pressure and soon extended their lead.

As the first half progressed Griquas managed to narrow the gap with a well-taken penalty before halftime, and the visitors took a narrow lead into the break.

In the second half, Griquas emerged as the stronger side, dominating play and forcing the Pumas onto the defensive. Their persistence paid off as they scored another try, edging ahead.

But the Pumas fought back fiercely, reclaiming the lead with a try and conversion of their own. The game swung back and forth as neither team backed down, which made for a breathtaking game.

The Griquas were eventually awarded a penalty try after a Pumas player committed a foul on their own try line, putting the hosts ahead 24-23.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

But the Pumas scored again, taking a 24-26 lead as the minutes ticked away.

With the clock ticking down, Griquas needed to dig deep, which they did as they overwhelmed the Pumas in the scrums. A late penalty saw Griquas erecting to take a scrum in the middle of the field in their opponents’ quarter of the field.

The strategy paid off and the hosts added another try, courtesy of fullback Cameron Hufke; Whitehead slotted the conversion and Griquas extended their lead to 31-26.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

There were some late, desperate attacks by the Pumas and scrambled defending by the hosts, but in the end, it was the Griquas who emerged victorious, much to the delight of their supporters.

The players, coaches and supporters filled the stadium with thunderous cheers, celebrating their hard-earned win, with the sportsmanlike Pumas congratulating the winners who had managed to maintain their position at the top of the SA Cup log.

Griquas (Tries): Thabo Ndimande, Lubabalo Dobela, penalty try, Cameron Hufke; (Conversions): George Whitehead (3); (Penalties): Whitehead

Pumas (Tries): Ross Braude, Theuns Pretorius; (Conversions): Clinton Swart (2); (Penalties): Swart (4)

Previous articleChippa prepared to take the fight to visiting Buccaneers
Next articleCan Downs do the double with sizzling Stellies in their way?