Morgan Piek – On the 125th year anniversary of Griquas Rugby, beating them in Kimberley was always going to be an uphill battle for Western Province.
DHL Western Provinces’ worst fears were realised within the first seventeen minutes of the encounter by conceding two tries and a penalty to trail by 15-0.
Catrakilis was able to marshal his troops in the backline and set up attack after attack. One just wishes Brok Harris would stay out of the backline and focus more on being a forward.
In the 25th minute Provinces determination saw their skipper Tiaan Liebenberg going over for a well rounded off try. There was confusion and rather sloppy work by the referees assistants by not awarding the conversion. In an act of great sportsmanship Riaan Viljoen, the GWK Griquas flyhalf told Mr Marius Jonker the conversion was over. The TMO Gerrie Coetzee confirmed this.
Five minutes later the phenomenal Nick Koster went over to score under the sticks to close the score down to 15-14 in the favour of Griquas.
Right on the half time break, Johann Sadie and Demetri Catrakils showed their individual brilliance to set up Dewaldt Duvenhage for what has to be my try of the season.
DHL Western Province went into the break leading 21-15.
Early in the second half Riaan Viljoen attempted his third drop goal of the game, none of them had been successful. Not long after that attempted Conrad Jantjes went over in the corner for a bonus point try by Western Province.
At half time I mentioned to a colleage that it was imperative DHL Western Province score a try within the opening five minutes of the second half and maintain the pressure pressure applied to the GWK Griqaus in the last 15 minutes of the first half. This was the only Western Province could possibly win the game. They did just that. We were all aware of the fact that a Griquas team with confidence is a team you do not want to face.
Davon Raubenheimer went over shortly after the Jantjies try, to keep the keep the pressure on Western Province. In what was becoming a see-saw affair, Western Province flyer J.J. Englebrecht scored in the corner. This was the 5th try by DHL Western Province.
Rudi Vogt who has been having a great day scored his second of the afternoon, he however was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt. Western Province maintained their slender four pint lead for the time being.
From the word go, the game had been an entertaining affair. I never like to criticise refs, but Marius Jonker has the uncanny habit of spoiling a game with controversial calls. One sometimes thinks he may actually enjoy the title of being a Controversial Referee.
GWK Griquas regained the lead in the 70th minute when replacement loose forward Marnus Schoeman thundered over for a good try. Griquas were now leading the game by 32-31. It was a lead that lasted no longer than 45 seconds.
Straight from the restart, Johan Sadie powered over for a try in the left corner followed by a second J.J. Engelbrecht try. Both went over for a try within one minute of each other to close the game out for DHL Western Province.
A clear pattern was forming and Western Province realised it as well, the left side of the park was the where they were able to breach the Griquas defence time after time.
GWK Griquas never gave up and maintained the pressure until the very last seconds of the game. DHL Western Province were deserved winners of an incredibly entertaining and hard fought game in Kimberley.
The final score was 41 – 35 in favour of DHL Western Province.
Nick Koster of DHL Western Province was awarded the Man of the Match title and it was well earned too. Definitely a player to keep an eye on, I certainly hope to see Koster wearing the Number 8 Green and Gold jersey sooner rather than later.
GWK Griquas – Tries: Rudi Vogt (2), Davon Raubenheimer (2), Marnus Schoeman. Conversions: Vogt (2). Penalties: Vogt, Earl Rose.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Tiaan Liebenberg, Nick Koster, Dewaldt Duvenage, Conrad Jantjes, JJ Engelbrecht (2), Johann Sadie. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (3).