Griquas go top again as big guns slump

Hacjivah Dayimani of the Xerox Golden Lions during the Currie Cup match between Toyota Free State XV and Xerox Golden Lions XV at Toyota Stadium on August 02, 2019 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

Brent Janse van Rensburg’s troops show their mettle, but it’s the Lions that remain the only unbeaten side in the tournament.

Griquas reclaimed the top spot on the standings in the Currie Cup while the Golden Lions remained the only unbeaten team, and the Pumas created one of the biggest upsets in the competition thus far in a thrilling fourth round.

The Peacock Blues registered a vital bonus-point 37-15 victory against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, which kept them in the semi-final race, while dealing a big blow to the hosts aspirations.

The Pumas shocked the Sharks with a 27-20 victory in Nelspruit earlier in the day.

In Friday’s match the Golden Lions ensured that they remained the only unbeaten team in the competition as they held their nerve in a hard-fought encounter against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein for a narrow 24-22 victory.

A brace by Griquas scrumhalf Zak Burger and a fine kicking display by flyhalf George Whitehead – who kicked three penalty goals and four conversions for a personal total of 17 points – paved the way for a 37-15 victory against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria.

The win for the men from Kimberley marked their third victory in four games, while the defeat for the hosts left them at the foot of the log with one win in four outings.

The Pumas put in a spirited second half performance as they caused one of the big upsets in the Currie Cup when they defeated the defending champion Sharks 27-20 in Nelspruit on Saturday for their first win of the 2019 season.

The Lowvelders entered the match winless after three defeats, but they clawed their way back from 17-9 down at the break to hold on for the victory, with five penalty goals by Pumas flyhalf Chris Smith proving vital in the end.

The Golden Lions, meanwhile, showed fantastic big match temperament against the Free State Cheetahs.

Both sides entered the clash with victories in their first two matches, and the home side seemed to be on course for their third win at halftime as they built up an encouraging 19-7 lead.

But the Golden Lions fought back strongly, with a penalty goal in the second-last minute earning them the win.

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