The GWK Griquas secured their place in this year’s Absa Currie Cup Premier Division thanks to a comprehensive 57-12 (halftime 31-0) win over the SWD Eagles in their qualifying match at Outeniqua Park in George on Saturday.
Griquas had to win with a four-try bonus point to ensure that they could not be caught by the Leopards, who were second on the log heading in to the final week of qualifying matches.
The visitors wrapped up the bonus-point try in the first half with No 8 Carel Greef and hooker Ryno Barnes both bagging a brace of tries against the outgunned Eagles.
The Griquas opened their account in the 11th minute after a clever chip and chase from scrumhalf Tian Meyer with hooker Ryno Barnes on hand to crash over from close range after the ball had been recycled from a ruck.
The visitors grabbed their second try just five minutes later after a wonderful period of play which saw a move start on their 22-metre line before Greef muscled his way over for an unconverted score.
SWD seemed to have no answer to Griquas’ pace and power and they conceded the third try, in the 28th minute, when outside centre Jonathan Francke broke from a ruck on a the Eagles’ 10-metre line to sprint clear for a converted try.
The Griquas wrapped up the bonus-point try, and their place in this year’s Currie Cup Premier Division, as early as the 30th minute when right wing Ederies Arendse scooped up a loose ball before outstripping the cover defence to dot down in the corner to make the score 24-0.
Greef collected his second try just before the break when he powered his way over after a scrum five metres from the SWD tryline.
The Griquas needed just four minutes of the second half to resume their scoring when tighthead prop Maks van Dyk crashed over for a converted try after good work from flank Marnus Schoeman in the build-up.
The visitors continued to run rampant and they added further tries through Schoeman, Barnes, Meyer with the Eagles managing two late consolation tries through right wing Hentzwill Pedro and replacement loose forward Christo du Plessis.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Hentzwill Pedro, Christo du Plessis; Conversion: Elric van Vuuren.
GWK Griquas – Tries: Ryno Barnes (2), Carel Greef (2), Jonathan Francke, Ederies Arendse, Maks van Dyk, Marnus Schoeman, Tian Meyer; Conversions: Francois Brummer (2), Nico Scheepers (4).