Griquas snatch victory
MWP
April 21, 2012

The GWK Griquas charged to the top of the Vodacom Cup North Section standings as the Leopards criminally wasted a 27-12 halftime lead to lose 42-40 at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

The towering presence of lock Ligtoring Landman loomed with great authority over the Leopards as he scored two tries including the 75th-minute effort that won the match for Griquas.

He also scored in the 32nd minute to bring Griquas back into the game after they had trailed 5-20 thanks to two early tries by the Leopards.

The home side had dominated the opening exchanges and could have led 6-0 after as many minutes but flyhalf Andre Pretorius missed two penalties. He made up for it though as he succeeded with his next seven shots at goal, as well as slotting a drop goal.

The former Springbok had a chance to snatch the spoils for the Leopards at the death, but he was wide with his 77th-minute drop goal attempt.

A seventh-minute penalty by Pretorius was followed by a try by fullback Hoffman Maritz and the conversion and a drop goal by the flyhalf as the Leopards raced into a 13-0 lead after 15 minutes.

But the home crowd knew Griquas, with top spot on the log up for grabs and coming off a defeat last weekend, would come back firing and flank Marnus Schoeman, who was never far from the ball, scored their opening try in the 18th minute.

Eighthman Henro Swart scored for the Leopards six minutes later and Pretorius converted to stretch the lead to 20-5.

Landman then scored his first try and Leopards wing Berty Visser replied and the home side went into the break 27-12 to the good.

But the second half brought a fierce comeback by Griquas. Outside centre Jean Stemmet's elusive run led to a try two minutes after the break and his midfield partner PJ Vermeulen then scored three minutes later.

Pretorius stepped up to kick a 48th-minute penalty that stretched the Leopards' lead to six points (30-24).

Griqualand West fullback Rudi Vogt kicked a 56th-minute penalty to make it 27-30, and astute flanker Jonathan Adendorf finally gave the visitors the lead with a try five minutes later.

The vastly-experienced Pretorius knows what pressure kicking is all about and he slotted a 65th-minute penalty to put the Leopards back in front 33-32, but they messed up from the kick-off and conceded a penalty to Vogt almost immediately.

But the Leopards were able to regain possession from the kick-off and they engineered a try to inside centre Adriaan Engelbrecht, which Pretorius converted.

But Griquas had the last say and the five log points they so desperately wanted as Landman dotted down to give them a two-point lead over the Pumas atop the North Section.

The Leopards picked up two bonus points to keep their hopes of making the quarterfinals alive, although they will have to win next weekend and hope the Lions and/or Bulls lose.

SCORERS:

Leopards - Tries: Hoffman Maritz, Henro Swart, Berty Visser, Adriaan Engelbrecht. Conversions: Andre Pretorius (4). Penalties: Pretorius (3). Drop goal: Pretorius.

GWK Griquas - Tries: Marnus Schoeman, Ligtoring Landman (2), Jean Stemmet, PJ Vermeulen, Jonathan Adendorf. Conversions: Rudi Vogt (3). Penalties: Vogt (2).