Kempton Park - The Griffons have continued their good run of form in the new provincial tournament by beating the Valke 49-26 (half-time 27-14) in the side’s encounter at the Barnard stadium in Kempton Park on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the supersport.com website, convincingly beating the Leopards two weeks ago, the Welkom-based side used that momentum as well as last week’s bye to claim another scalp and with it an important bonus point. The Valke on the other hand now have lost three games in four outings and will have to regroup going forward.
The Griffons had a super start to the game and good pressure applied resulted in wing Selvyn Davids running around the Valke defence as early as the second minute to cross over.
The Valke regained composure put together some useful attacks. It paid dividends as they took the lead via lock Shane Kirkwood’s try in the 10th minute. A scrum on the Griffons goal line lead to the big lock forward’s five pointer as the Valke turned over possession and Kirkwood dummied from five metres out to score. Flyhalf Karlo Aspeling converted to give the hosts a slender 7-5 lead.
The Griffons looked the better side on the attack and made better use of their opportunities. In the 18th minute the Welkom based side scored their second try of the afternoon as wing Warren Williams helped retake the lead by bursting over in the corner.
The Valke didn’t rest on their laurels, but unforced errors snubbed them of points on numerous occasions. In turn the Griffons attacked from nearly everywhere on the field, even taking the occasional quick tap instead of kicking out. A good break by loose head prop Danie van der Merwe as a result of a quick tap put centre Duan Pretorius into space and the Griffons scored their third try of the afternoon.
The Valke stayed in contention, with a try awarded to eighth-man Reg Muller in the 30th minute after he initially came up short moments before. It was referred by referee Lourens van der Merwe to the television match official, who ruled a double movement. Advantage to the Valke meant a penalty and from the resulting lineout Muller barged over with most of his team-mates part of the rolling maul.
The last 10 minutes in the first half became a little sloppy, with both sides looking a little indecisive. The Griffons did manage to stretch their lead as captain Gavin Annandale put in a clever little box kick and Williams collected to round of what was to be his second try of the afternoon and a bonus point for the visitors. A penalty seconds before the break by George Whitehead, who didn’t have the best day with the kicking boot, helped the Griffons to a half-time lead of 27-14.
The Griffons started the second half in similar fashion as the first and wing Williams completed his hat-trick as the hosts lacked defenders from the visitor’s quick ball. Whitehead converted to stretch the gap to 20 points. Unforced errors again cost the Valke and turnover possession meant points for the hosts. Replacement forward De Wet Kruger scored for the Griffons, as did fullback Tertius Maarman to put the game beyond the Valke’s reach. Consolation tries by Valke wing Ettienne Taljaard and centre Grant Jancke did little for the hosts morale.
Tries: Selvyn Davids, Warren Williams (3), Duan Pretorius, De Wet Kruger, Tertius Maarman
Conversions: George Whitehead (4)
Penalties: Whitehead (2)
Tries: Shane Kirkwood, Reg Muller, Ettienne Taljaard, Grant Jancke
Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2), Damian Engeldoe