Flyhalf Louis Strydom contributed an impressive 20 points with his kicking boots to help the Down Touch Griffons to a narrow 45-43 victory of the SWD Eagles in the Northwest Stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.
Strydom kicked a drop goal right at the death to ensure that his side goes to the final of the Currie Cup First Division after the Eagles led 43-42 with the final whistle looming.
With minutes left, Eagles fullback Elric van Vuuren kicked a penalty to seemingly give the visitors their finals berth, but Strydom kept his cool and slotted a good attempt in injury time to give the Griffons a spot in the final.
The Eagles pitched with a mindset that indicated they want to play in the final and the visitors led 16-13 at halftime in what was a closely fought first 40 minutes.
Van Vuuren got the scoreboard rolling in the ninth-minute with a penalty, a feat which he repeated later before Strydom kicked two good attempts to level the score at six points apiece.
SWD winger Clinton Wagman and Griffons fullback Tertius Maarman both scored converted tries before halftime, but it was another penalty by Van Vuuren thereafter that separated the sides at the break.
Strydom started the second half with his first drop goal of the afternoon, a mere two minutes after the restart. That gave the Griffons good momentum and lock Chris Ehlers went over for a converted try to give the hosts a good lead.
The Eagles regrouped and eighth man Christo du Plessis scored a converted try in the 51ste minute that prompted a helter skelter period of play that included five tries in the space of just 17 minutes.
Griffons winger Norman Nelson first jotted down before Wagman got his second five pointer and centre Ashwin Scott also scored for the visitors.
Nelson scored his second of the afternoon for the hosts before replacement fullback Wynand Pienaar also got on the board via a five pointer for the Griffons.
In the midst of it all both Strydom and Van Vuuren landed conversions left, right and centre before the latter kicked a penalty for what would have been the final result.
But Strydom came to the party, kicking his second drop goal after the whistle to give the Griffons the win.
Down Touch Griffons 45 (13): Tries: Norman Nelson (2), Chris Ehlers, Tertius Maarman, Wynand Pienaar. Conversions: Louis Strydom (4). Penalties: Strydom (2). Drop goals:Strydom (2).
SWD Eagles 43 (16): Tries: Clinton Wagman (2), Ashwin Scott, Christo du Plessis.Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (4). Penalties: Van Vuuren (5).