Kimberley – The Golden Lions notched up their second win in this year's Currie Cup competition by beating a spirited Griquas side 38-32 in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions played running rugby from the start, but Griquas struck first. The hosts scored their first try in the fourth minute when centre Howard Mnisi broke through their defence and his fellow centre Jean Stemmet dotted down. Flyhalf Francois Brummer missed with the conversion.
Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee scored his side's first five pointer of the afternoon after flyhalf Elton Jantjies found a gap in Griquas defence. Fullback Marnitz Boshoff converted to put his side in the lead.
From there the Johannesburg based side kept on building momentum and scored their second try shortly after through an Anthony Volmink five-pointer in the corner, and Boshoff missed the conversion.
Griquas replied when fullback PJ Vermeulen rounded off under the posts after a good break by his hooker and captain Ryno Barnes. Brummer converted to level the scores at 12 points all with just over 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
The visitors scored their third try with winger Andries Coetzee using space on the outside and cross the whitewash for an unconverted try. But it was Griquas who had the last say in the first half when eighth man Carel Greeff burst over from a scrum five metres from the Lions goalline to help give his side a lead of 19-17 at the break.
Brummer kicked a penalty in the early stages of the second half to give Griquas a five point lead, but the Lions soon drew level after a try in the corner by lock Franco van der Merwe. Jantjies converted to give the lead back to the visitors.
But Griquas were far from done and centre Howard Mnisi scored the bonus point for his side after Jantjies knocked the ball on 20 metres from his own goal line. Brummer converted to give Griquas the lead, but the Lions hit back shortly after.
Boshoff might have had problems with his goal kicking early on, but he made no mistake scoring his try. Jantjies converted to leave the Lions one point adrift.
Jantjies was soon called on again to convert flanker Jaco Kriel's try, the sixth of the afternoon for the visitors. With nine minutes left, Volmink was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on Brummer. It left the visitors one man short, but despite all their efforts the hosts could not reduce the deficit.
Points scorers: Golden Lions 38 (17): Tries: Robbie Coetzee, Anthony Volmink, Andries Coetzee, Franco van der Merwe, Marnitz Boshoff, Jaco Kriel. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff, Elton Jantjies (3).
Griquas 32 (19): Tries: Jean Stemmet. PJ Vermeulen, Carel Greeff, Howard Mnisi. Conversions: Francois Brummer (3). Penalties: Francois Brummer (2). – Sapa