Currie Cup

Zander du Plessis' boot rockets Griquas to victory as Pumas' card fever bites

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Zander du Plessis
Zander du Plessis
Darren Stewart

Griquas are finally on the board in this year's Currie Cup after unashamedly employing the booming boot of Zander du Plessis to clinch a 41-20 victory over the Pumas in Kimberley on Wednesday.

The gifted 21-year-old fromer Tuks star had an absolute ball on a surprisingly lush Hoffe Park pitch, nailing no less than eight penalty kicks at goal, the last an incredible 63m effort that flew between the uprights.

Du Plessis, employed at inside centre for this match having slotted in at flyhalf and fullback already in 2022, did have the relative luxury though of an opposition that conceded an astonishing 18 penalties in 80 minutes.

It's a statistic that will annoy Pumas mentor Jimmy Stonehouse no end, especially given the momentum his charges had following a sterling win over the Lions two weeks ago as well as a decent warm-up against Wits.

Referee Aimee Barrett-Theron dished out four yellow cards and a red to the men from Nelspruit.

Flanker Daniel Maartens' cynical collapse of an attacking maul led to a penalty try, prop Ig Prinsloo was sent to the bin for repeated infringements at the breakdown, lock Brandon Valentyn escaped a red for a tip-tackle because of the involvement of team-mate Kwanda Dimaza and centre Ali Mgijima was sanctioned for a no-arms hit.

Just to rub salt in the wound, Maartens was shown his marching orders for a second yellow in the dying stages.

Playing against 14 men for 40 minutes, it was little wonder Griquas eventually took complete control after a substandard first-half where they enjoyed a lot of possession and ascendancy but lacked the accuracy and game management to make it count.

In fact, the Pumas were eminently in the frame for much of those 40 minutes because they were able to pick off some counter-attacking opportunities, the most notable being winger Jade Stighling's try following a smart half-break by lively half-back Lucky Dlepu.

However, once hooker Alandre van Rooyen went over from close range after an attacking line-out just before the break, the Peacock Blues solidified their advantage.

They were tactically sound in the second half and content to let Du Plessis' boot do the talking before pivot Theo Boshoff's expert cross-kick saw winger Munier Hartzenberg dash in to dot down in the in-goal area. 

Point scorers:

Griquas - (21) 41

Tries: Penalty try, Alandre van Rooyen, Munier Hartzenberg

Penalties: Zander du Plessis (8)

Pumas - (13) 20

Tries: Corne Fourie, Jade Stighling, Simon Raw

Conversion: Eddie Fouche

Penalty: Tinus de Beer

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Thu 14 Apr 22 13:00 PM (SAST)
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