Currie Cup

Bulls end Griquas Currie Cup unbeaten run



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Griquas’ rank poor discipline in the final stages of the match finally put paid to their outstanding, unbeaten run in this season’s Currie Cup competition when they were beaten 25-24 by the Blue Bulls at GWK Park, in Kimberley, on Saturday afternoon.

The Griqua loosies Jonathan Mokuena and Rohan Kitshoff were both shown yellow-cards in quick succession in the dying stages of the match and that double dose of indiscretion cost them the match as their 13-man defence failed to cope with the Bulls’ victory charge.

The visiting Bulls applied early pressure but their forays into the Griquas 22m area were foiled by their infringements at breakdown play.

Griquas also managed to hold out against the early onslaught with lengthy upfield clearance kicks, one of which bounced awkwardly for the Bulls defence who, in an effort to hold off the Griqua chasers, conceded a penalty near their 22m line which flyhalf Naas Olivier goaled to give the home side the lead in the seventh minute (3-0).

This setback did not change the Bulls’ grip on the match and they finally cracked the Griquas defence in the 15th minute when their skipper and hooker Derick Kuun dotted down after the Bulls staged a driving maul from a line-out.

Bulls flyhalf Francois Brummer failed with the conversion attempt when it struck the upright (3-5).

There was no shortage of commitment on either side and the fierce contest at the breakdowns resulted in numerous infringements which kept the scoreboard ticking over after Olivier (2) and Brummer were on target with penalty attempts (9-8).

In the 32nd minute Griquas managed a turn-over close to the halfway line and after they waged a penetrative drive downfield their skipper and eighthman Mokuena put in a perfectly weighted kick to the corner flag where wing Egon Seconds pounced for an unconverted try (14-8). T

hree minutes later, the Bulls stormed back with an unconverted try by scrumhalf Francois Hougaard after his forwards did all the hard yards in a move started on the Griquas 10m line (14-13).

Griquas only just managed to hold out against a strong finish by the Bulls to keep their one-point lead intact when the sides changed ends at halftime.

A mere 31 seconds after the restart, Griquas’ replacement hooker Rayno Barnes crashed over at the corner flag for an unconverted try after his side applied great pressure from the kick-off and the home side opened up a six-point lead (19-13).

This shock advance seemed to give Griquas a lift but nothing came of the moves into the Bulls’ territory over a six-minute passage of play before the Bulls again stamped their authority on the match, without making any impact on the scoresheet.

As the match approached the hour mark, Griquas waged a telling counter-attack which transferred play to the Bulls’ 22m area where they were awarded a penalty.

Griquas cheekily opted to kick for touch rather than bag the easy three points on offer. As it turned out nothing came from their efforts from the subsequent line-out.

However, Griquas did come good in the 61st minute when substitute Trompie Nontshinga swallow-dived over the line for an unconverted try after the home side worked the ball wide from a ruck on the Bulls’ 22m line (24-13).

The 12 000-strong Kimberley crowd were back on their feet moments later as Griquas again threatened but the Bulls defence absorbed the pressure before they staged a telling counter-attack with substitute Pedrie Wannenburg leading the way.

The break-out was splendidly rounded off by right wing Gerhard van den Heever with an unconverted try in the 65th minute (24-18). In the ensuing play, the Bulls staged one attack after the other and Griquas defence were forced to pull out all the stops to keep the Pretoria marauders at bay.

Four minutes ahead of the final whistle, Griquas suffered a double setback when their flank Kitshoff and Mokuena were both yellow-carded and it turned out to be their undoing as their 13-man defence failed to hold out Wannenburg who scored a try under the posts in the 79th minute.

When substitute Francis Burton added the easy conversion it heralded the end of Griquas’ unbeaten run in this season’s Currie Cup competition as the Bulls ran out close-shave winners by one slender point (25-24).

It was Griquas’ first defeat in six outings this season

Final Score Griquas 24 Blue Bulls 25
Tries: Egon Seconds, Rayno Barnes and Trompie Nontshinga.
Penalties: Naas Olivier (3).
Blue Bulls:
Tries: Derick Kuun, Francois Hougaard, Gerhard van den Heever and Pedrie Wannenburg.
Conversion: Burton Francis.
Penalty: Francois Brummer.

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