Cape Town - The Griffons soared to a comfortable 49-33 win over the Free State XV in their exciting Currie Cup qualification clash at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Saturday.
The Griffons scored six tries, including a penalty try, to Free State's' five, while the impressive George Whitehead kept the scoreboard ticking with eight successful kicks from nine efforts at goal as the hosts sealed a full house of points from the match.
The visitors started the match well and it took just five minutes for them to open the scoring as centre Tertius Kruger went over for an unconverted score in the right-hand corner.
The Griffons then hit back through wing Warren Williams with a good try in the left hand corner.
Whitehead's conversion in the 14th minute gave the Griffons a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the match.
A Griffons attack in the 20th minute was illegally stopped by Free State wing Maphuta Dolo who deliberately knocked down what would have been the try scoring pass. He was sent to the bin and a penalty try awarded as the hosts moved 14-5 up.
A long-range penalty in the 25th minute put the Griffons further ahead, but Free State replied two minutes later with a powerful driving maul in the Griffons 22m seeing flank Refuoe Rampeta dot down near the right corner.
Ebersohn slotted the conversion to cut the deficit to five points.
The Griffons, however, finished the half stronger as first centre Japie Nel scored, bumping off a tackler in the right-hand corner and going over, before Whitehead slotted the touchline conversion and kicked a penalty just before halftime as they went in 27-12 ahead.
Free State came out firing in the second half and two converted tries in the first 10 minutes from fullback Reinardt Erwee and hooker Jacques Du Toit with a Whitehead penalty in between brought them within striking distance with the score 30-26.
But the Griffons upped the tempo as Williams and then Nel both scored their second tries, before Erwee went over for his second as some end to end play took the score to 42-33 in the 71st minute.
Free State pushed for another score but it was the Griffons who had the last say as a superb Whitehead up and under saw Erwee miss the ball in their 22m and wing Vuyo Mbotho catch it on the bounce and go over under the sticks with Whitehead's conversion the final points of the match.
Read the story on SuperSport.com