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Rugby | Vodacom Cup

Earl Rose © Gallo Images

Griquas hold off Sharks XV



GWK Griquas cemented top spot in the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup on Friday night with a 23-16 (halftime 15-6) win over the Sharks XV at a rain-soaked GWK Park in Kimberley.

The match was played in unusually wet conditions after a huge amount of rain fell two hours before kick-off, turning the pitch into a mudbath.

Indeed, many spectators trying to head home found themselves battling to get their cars out of the parking lot behind the stands, such was the rain’s ability to turn a what is usually a dry piece of land into a soggy mess.

On the field, Griquas scored three tries to the single effort by the visitors.

Although the Sharks XV dominated the scrums, they couldn’t turn that into much field position. Furthermore their backs clearly didn’t have much confidence to attack due to the wet conditions.

Griquas, on the other hand, did well with their tactical kicking, especially the halfbacks Jandré Blom and Earl Rose.

The only reason why the Sharks XV stayed in touch throughout was due to very poor discipline from the hosts, especially in their own half when they had to defend. If it weren’t for two missed penalties right in front of goal by the Cronjé twins (Guy and Ross), the Sharks XV might just have forced a different result.

With Sharks fullback Kobus de Kock scoring and converting his try 15 minutes before the end, it suddenly became a tight affair, but only for a brief period as Griquas hooked a tighthead five metres from their opponents’ line, which created an easy pickup and drive for replacement No 8 Burger Schoeman.

Some would argue the Peacock Blues should have gone after a fourth try for the bonus point, but instead Rose twice opted to go for the drop goal when the referee was playing advantage.

The win however was enough to keep Griquas at the top of the standings, and who can argue with that?

Scorers:

Griquas 23 – Tries: Leon Karemaker, Wesley Wilkins, Burger Schoeman. Conversion: Earl Rose. Drop goals: Rose (2).

Sharks XV 16 – Try: Kobus de Kock. Conversion: De Kock. Penalties: Ross Cronjé (2), Guy Cronjé.

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