Griquas hold on for first Currie Cup victory




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The Free State Cheetahs kept their chances of reaching the Currie Cup play offs alive by beating Griquas 44-24 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

With the knock-out stage of the competition rapidly approaching, the bonus point Franco Smith’s men picked-up could end up being worth its weight in gold.

The hosts were quick out of the blocks and needed only five minutes before wing Raymond Rhule went over for the first of five tries the Free State squad would score on the day.

Griquas responded with a try in the 10th minute when former Sevens star Ruhan Nel scored after scrumhalf Tian Meyer created space out wide.

At 7-7 the Cheetahs had to deal with yet another injury setback, but worked through that passage and would eventually reap the rewards of some outstanding finishing by wing Sergeal Petersen.

Petersen would score twice before the half-hour mark to ensure his side was in the ascendency while Griquas had only one penalty by Clinton Swart to show after the early try.

Leading 24-10 at half-time the Cheetahs would go in search of that vital bonus point and it came in the 51st minute when scrumhalf Shaun Venter capped off another splendid afternoon behind the rucks with a try of his own.

Griquas were again quick to respond and Nel closed the gap down to 34-15 while Meyer also dived over to restore some hope.

The final say, however, belongs to Mthokozisi Mkhabela who erased any suspicions of late lapse in concentration when he scored a stunning try in the 76th minute.

Final Score Free State Cheetahs 44 (24) Griquas 24 (10):


Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Mthokozisi Mkhabela, Shaun Venter, Sergeal Petersen (2), Raymond Rhule
Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (5)
Penalties: Zeilinga (3)

Tries: Tian Meyer, Ruhan Nel (2)
Conversions: Clinton Swart (3)
Penalty: Swart

Match Officials
: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Stephan Geldenhuys


Free State Cheetahs

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Reniel Hugo 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 BG Uys.

Replacements: 16 Teunis Nieuwoudt, 17 Neil Rautenbach, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 Tertius Kruger, 22 Sias Ebersohn.


Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Jacquin Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Dylon Frylink, 21 Gouws Prinsloo, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.

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