Griquas hands Lions their 8th straight Currie Cup loss

George Whitehead (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Although there has been a massive improvement in their game, the Lions still can’t find that elusive victory in the Currie Cup in 2022.

Playing at the Wits Rugby Stadium instead of the more familiar Ellis Park, the Lions would have hoped the home advantage, although somewhat unknown, would ensure a change of fortune.

Instead, it was Griquas, the Kimberley visitors, who came away with an uphill struggle 23-17 win after leading 13-3 at halftime.

Griquas scored the only try of the first half through winger Munier Hartzenbergt while George Whitehead’s ever-reliable boot netted a conversion and two penalties.

The Lions’ only points of the half came from the boot of full-back Tiaan Swanepoel.

The second half, however, saw the Lions back in the game after Whitehead pushed back Griquas’ lead to 16-3, courtesy of another penalty.

A yellow card to Zander du Plessis from Griquas gave the home side a power play advantage, and it was an advantage they capitalized on as Swanepoel swung into the corner for their first try in the 60th minute.

Swanepoel converted as the Lions reduced the Griquas lead to six points, making it 16-10.

This led to a period of relentless attacking from the Lions and Griquas lost Whitehead to the trash after repeated offenses by the team.

Again the Lions made the extra man count, and when winger Boldwin Hansen recovered a spot kick from Fred Zeilinga to score a try in the corner and with Swanepoel adding the conversion, they suddenly had a 17-16 lead with eight minutes to go.

Griquas, however, broke the hearts of the home side by scoring a converted try on death through substitute Ashlon Davids as they cemented fourth place on the Currie Cup log.

Scorers

Lions 17 (3)

Essays: Tiaan Swanepoel, Boldwin Hansen

Conversions: Tiaan Swanepoel (2)

Penalties: Tiaan Swanepoel

Griquas 23 (13)

Tests: Munier Hartzenberg, Ashlon Davids

Conversions: George Whitehead (2)

Penalties: George Whitehead (3)

Charles P. Patton