GWK Griquas secured top spot in the North Section of the Vodacom Cup when they thrashed the Valke 83-3 (half-time 48-3) in Kimberley on Thursday.
The overwhelming victory means Griquas have qualified for a home quarterfinal next weekend against the team finishing fourth in the South Section.
It is the first time since 2007 that the team from the Northern Cape have managed to end at the summit of the North Section standings – the year they also won the Vodacom Cup.
Although conditions weren’t easy with a soaking wet field due to heavy overnight rain in Kimberley, you wouldn’t have said it with Griquas playing some lovely running rugby at times. They were clearly out to make a statement and looked hungry for a big performance. Mistakes were kept to a minimum and on attack they often threatened.
Flanker Marnus Schoeman had yet another storming match for the hosts and was extremely quick to pounce on any loose balls.
The home side only required 23 minutes to register a bonus-point fourth try when they took the ball nicely through the hands for centre Jean Stemmet to have a clean run-in. However, it must be said that it was way too easy at times for the Peacock Blues, with the Valke providing very little resistance on defence.
Fullback Rudi Vogt had little difficulty in converting Stemmet’s try from the corner for a 34-3 lead. He had earlier kicked two penalties and, including a try and a further six conversions, he finished with a haul of 25 points.
The heavy defeat ends yet another disappointing campaign for the Valke, former holders of the trophy in 2006, with only a single win in this year's competition.
Outside centre Coert Cronjé was the only player that caught the eye for the losing side.
Griquas - Tries: Marnus Schoeman (2), Leon Karemaker (2), Jacques Coetzee, Jean Stemmet, Janro van Niekerk, Rudi Vogt, Simon Westraadt, Marnus Hugo, Rocco Jansen. Conversions: Vogt (7), Marnitz Boshoff (4). Penalties: Vogt (2).
Valke - Penalty: Juan Kotzé.