GWK Griquas dethroned the defending champions to clinch the Vodacom Cup for the fifth time when then beat the Golden Lions by 30-6 in the final at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday evening.
These two teams are now the undoubted kings of Vodacom Cup rugby, both with five titles out of the 17 on offer since the inception of the competition in 1998.
It was GWK Griquas’ first Vodacom Cup title since 2009 and also avenged their home defeat in the in the final seconds of the 2012 final against DHL Western Province. Their won their other Vodacom Cup titles in 1998, when they also beat the Golden Lions in the final, as well as 2005 and 2007.
The home team dominated proceedings for the final 60 minutes of the final and scored three unanswered tries in the process.
GWK Griquas’ platform was laid upfront, where their pack proved too much to handle for the 2013 champions, while their loose forwards also stole a lot of the visitors’ possession at the breakdowns. The hosts’ defence was also superb.
The Golden Lions started the game very well. Willie du Plessis (flyhalf) kicked a penalty goal and a drop goal in the first 20 minutes, but also missed two penalties.
In the same time, GWK Griquas flyhalf Francois Brummer dropped a goal for the home team to see them trial by 6-3 after the first quarter. That sparked the hosts into action and simply started hanging onto the ball more effectively.
Gouws Prinsloo(fullback) succeeded with two penalty goals before Brummer scored the first try of the match. Prinsloo’s conversion meant GWK Griquas were firmly in control at half-time, leading by 16-6.
The team from the Northern Cape started the second half with attacking intent and strong defence, keeping the pressure firmly on the visitors, who managed to hold on for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but simply could not sustain it.
GWK Griquas scored two more converted tries in the final 20 minutes of the second half, by replacement winger Danie Dames and flanker Marnus Schoeman, which put the result beyond all doubt.
At the same time, the Golden Lions didn’t bother the scorers, which increased the pressure even more as GWK Griquas held out to raise the Vodacom Cup after a season in which they lost only once.
GWK Griquas – Tries: Francois Brummer, Marnus Schoeman, Danie Dames. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (3). Penalty goals: Prinsloo (2). Drop goal: Brummer.
Golden Lions – Penalty goal: Willie du Plessis. Drop goal: Du Plessis.