Welkom - The Griffons currently reside in second place in the new provincial competition after beating the SWD Eagles 30-14 in the HT Pelatona Projects stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.
With a spot in the illustrious Currie Cup competition up for grabs, the Purple People Eaters are currently six points behind Griquas on the points log, the latter currently in the first position. With a couple of games still to be contended over the weekend, the ranking order is bound to change, but the hosts have shown they are in hunt of a spot among the bigger unions.
Both the Griffons and Eagles played some of their better rugby, the first 20 minutes pretty much a tussle between two sides that in turn played good attacking rugby and showed good defence.
The Griffons made most of their possession and scored the first points of the afternoon after relentless attacks paid off. Winger Selvyn Davids scored a good try and fly half George Whitehead converted to give the hosts a much deserved lead of 7-0.
The remainder of the first half belonged to the Griffons, with Whitehead kicking two penalties five minutes apart to give the Purple People Eaters a halftime lead of 13-0. The Eagles went into halftime knowing that they squandered a couple of chances and were out to rectify it in the second stanza.
Hooker Mark Pretorius scored just two minutes after fly half Hansie Graaff got proceedings underway, the latter converting to reduce the gap between the sides to a mere six points. The Griffons, eager to build on their good win over the Hino Valke last week, stretched the lead once again as centre Daniel Pretorius burst over for his five pointer in the 47th minute, with Whitehead converting the try.
Another penalty by Whitehead in the 57th minute seemed to dampen the Eagles spirits somewhat, the gap of 16 points seemingly insurmountable with only 23 minutes of play left. And when Davids darted over for his second try of the afternoon and Whitehead converted, the writing was on the wall for the visiting side from George.
The lead meant that the Griffons started to rest on their laurels and credit must go to the Eagles, who capitalised by sneaking in a try to full back Daniel Roberts in the 69th minute. Graaff converted, but the last couple of minutes before fulltime just weren’t enough for the visitors to make a comeback.
Tries: Selvyn Davids (2), Daniel Pretorius
Conversions: George Whitehead (3)
Penalties: Whitehead (3)
Tries: Daniel Roberts, Mark Pretorius
Conversions: Hansie Graaff (2)