Whitehead converted all four of Griquas’ tries and added three penalties, taking his personal tally to 17 points in the match.
At the end of the round-robin phase of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge the Tafel Lager Griquas find themselves comfortably perched on top of the Central Section log after a remarkable 37-31 win over the Touch Down Griffons in Welkom on Saturday. At half-time the visitors had eked out a 17-14 lead.
Flyhalf George Whitehead once again made the difference for Griquas in a tightly contested affair at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, as the visitors brought the curtain down on the Griffons’ campaign after bumping them down to fourth place.
Whitehead (pictured) converted all four of Griquas’ tries and added three penalties, taking his personal tally to 17 points in the match.
The winners and runners-up of each section, along with the two third-placed sides with the most points, will go through to the final eight.
This bonus-point win means that the men from Kimberley retain the first position on the Central Section log, and with the quarter-finals taking place this coming weekend, June 30, they are set to face the second-placed side with the least log points across all three sections.
There was plenty of action in a match that saw both sides get across the try line on four occasions; however, Whitehead’s boot proved to be the difference between the two teams, and two first-half penalties by the Griqua No 10 ensured that the visitors notched up a nail-biting win.
It was clear from the kick-off that the Griffons were out to secure a play-off spot by taking down the log leaders. Some brilliant and clinical defence and sharp attacks saw the hosts nearly cause an upset after trailing by just three points at half-time.
Tries for the home side were scored by Barend Potgieter, Danie van der Merwe, Cody-Anthony Basson and Joubert Engelbrecht, with Kotze kicking three conversions and a solo penalty conversion while captain Duan Pretorius slotted one conversion.
For Griquas, a brace of tries courtesy of scrumhalf Louis Venter and a try each for De Wet Kruger and Godfrey Ramaboea secured their bonus point, while Whitehead kicked four conversions and added three penalties.
Griffons – Tries: Barend Potgieter, Danie van der Merwe, Cody-Anthony Basson, Joubert Engelbrecht. Conversions: Juan Kotze (3), Duan Pretorius. Penalty: Kotze
Griquas – Tries: Louis Venter (2), De Wet Kruger, Godfrey Ramaboea.
Conversions: George Whitehead (4).
Penalties: Whitehead (3).