Griquas remain unbeaten in the new provincial tournament after beating the SWD Eagles 27-17 at Griqua Park in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts scored four tries for a bonus point victory and still sit at the top of the combined log after three games in the new competition used to determine Currie Cup contenders.
Despite the loss, the Eagles started well and hooker Mark Pretorius scored as early as the 6th minute after some good attacking play by the visitors. Fly half Hansie Graaff, that has played for the Down Touch Griffons a couple of seasons ago, converted to give the Eagles the lead.
Griquas looked restless in the first 20 minutes and struggled with ball retention. Their nerves settled somewhat after a try and conversion by fly half Clinton Swart to draw the scores level with 19 minutes in the first half left to play.
Graaff and Swart each kicked a penalty as the score remained level, but Griquas got their grip on the game in the last five minutes before the break as centre Jonathan Francke and winger AJ Coertzen both went over for five pointers. Swart couldn’t convert either one of those, but it still left the hosts with the score 20-10 in their favour at the break.
The second half left much to be desired, with both Griquas and the SWD Eagles making numerous tactical replacements in the hope to spark another wave of attacks. The only real moments of excitement came 12 minutes from fulltime when winger Alshaun Bock dove over for his try and replacement fly half Eric Zana converted.
Replacement hooker Kurt Haupt did manage a try in the dying seconds of the game and Graaff conveted, but Griquas had done enough to secure the victory and with that their position at the top of the combined points log.
Griquas 27 (20): Tries: Clinton Swart, Jonathan Francke, AJ Coertzen, Alshaun Bock. Conversions: Clinton Swart, Eric Zana. Penalty: Clinton Swart
SWD Eagles 17 (10): Tries: Mark Pretorius, Kurt Haupt Conversions: Hansie Graaff. Penalty: Hansie Graaff