The bonus-point win at Emirates Airline Park – two weeks after they beat DHL Western Province in Cape Town – shot Tafel Lager Griquas to the top of the Carling Currie Cup Premier Division log.

Three of Keyter’s four tries came after the home team were reduced to 14 men when EW Viljoen (fullback) was red carded for a dangerous tackle in the 54th minute.

To add to their woes, Duncan Matthews (replacement back) was sin-binned for a reckless clean at a ruck, which mean the Sigma Lions played the last eight minutes with only 13 men.

The visitors failed to capitalise late in the match, but it didn’t matter as they already had the win in the bag at that stage, mainly thanks to them taking their opportunities, strong defence and hitting back by scoring almost every time they conceded points.

On the contrary, the Sigma Lions enjoyed the upper hand upfront, but could not make it count, while their discipline also let them down, although they managed to score four tries for a bonus point.

The men from the Northern Cape led on the scoreboard for all but two minutes and 21 seconds in the first half after Gideon van der Merwe (flanker) pounced on a loose ball in the Sigma Lions’ 22 to dot down for their first try almost straight from the kick-off.

Gideon van der Merwe scored in the first minute to set the tone for Tafel Lager Griquas' win in Johannesburg.

Gideon van der Merwe scored in the first minute to set the tone for Tafel Lager Griquas' win in Johannesburg.

Experienced flyhalf George Whitehead added the extras and one penalty goal, but missed three more penalty attempts, which would have put a lot of pressure on the hosts.

Instead, the Sigma Lions – who dominated the possession stakes in the first half – hit back with tries by their nippy scrumhalf Morne van den Berg, from a quick-tap penalty, and Sti Sithole (prop) after some pressure on attack, to take a 12-10 lead after 34 minutes.

Two minutes later, Tafel Lager Griquas were in the lead again, this time by 17-12 after Keyter went over for his first try, which is how it stayed until the break.

The second half started just like the first, with the Joburgers’ centre Burger Odendaal going over 14 second after the restart, but this time the TMO ruled there was a knock-on and the try was disallowed.

Six minutes later though, the Sigma Lions were back in the lead after Rabz Maxwane (wing) scored after a commanding maul, with Jaden Hendrikse (flyhalf) adding his second conversion of the afternoon.

Despite a well-worked try by Ruan Dreyer (prop) and a late five-pointer by Travis Gordon (replacement loose forward), that was it for the hosts, as Whitehead added another penalty goal to his tally, before Viljoen’s red card and Keyter’s burst of tries – in the 55th, 66th and 70th minutes – all but secured the win for the visitors.


Sigma Lions 31 (12) – Tries: Morne van den Berg, Sti Sithole, Rabz Maxwane, Ruan Dreyer, Travis Gordon. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (3).

Tafel Lager Griquas 41 (17) – Tries: Gideon van der Merwe, Eduan Keyter (4). Conversions: George Whitehead (5). Penalty goals: Whitehead (2).