Griffons’ unbeaten run continues
The Griffons continued their unbeaten run in the Absa Currie Cup First Division as they beat the Border Bulldogs 29-24 (half-time 10-3) at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Friday.
Left wing Reinhardt Erwee ended with a personal tally of 19 points, courtesy of two tries, three conversions and a penalty as the Griffons secured their third consecutive victory of the season.
The Griffons outscored Border four tries to three as the visitors slumped to their third consecutive loss.
Both teams showed a willingness to run the ball on a cold and windy day in Welkom and it was the Griffons had the better of the first half despite playing against the stiff wind and it was no surprise when the home team opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a wonderful move which began in their own 22-metre area.
Right wing Hansie Greef produced a powerful midfield surge which split Border’s defence before the ball found its way to Erwee who galloped clear from 45 metres out to score.
Erwee converted his own try and, 11 minutes later, he kicked a penalty as the Griffons eased into a 10-0 lead.
The Griffons dominated proceedings so much that they only had to make 19 tackles in the first half while Border had to make 48 tackles while the hosts were also denied, quite correctly, two tries by the TMO.
But the gutsy defensive performance kept the Bulldogs in the match and flyhalf Ntabeni Dukisa narrowed the gap with a 33rd minute penalty as the teams went to the break with the Griffons holding a 10-3 lead.
The hosts began the second half strongly and they added to their lead when inside centre Japie Nel, who caused Border problems throughout the game with his strong running, barged his way over for an unconverted try.
Border started to claw their way back into the contest with loosehead prop Khwezilokusa Mkhafu featuring prominently on defence and attack.
The Bulldogs finally grabbed their first try, in the 59th minute, when replacement scrumhalf Sinovuyo Nyoka, who aided some much-needed spark to Border’s line-up, stretched out to score in the tackle after the visitors had opted to run a penalty five metres from their opponent’s tryline.
This video is not available in your region
The successful conversion meant that Border were just five points behind the Griffons but the hosts hit back almost immediately thanks to a wonderful converted try from outside centre Werner Griesel who jinked his way over from 30 metres out.
The Griffons made sure of the victory with 13 minutes left in the match when Erwee intercepted a loose pass in Border’s 10-metre line before sprinting away to score between the posts for a converted try.
Border did have the final say in the match, which is no less than they deserved after a strong second-half showing, with late tries from fullback Thembani Mkokeli and right wing Chrislyn van Schalkwyk to secure a bonus point for finishing within seven points of the Griffons.
GRIFFONS – Tries: Reinhardt Erwee (2), Japie Nel, Werner Griesel; Conversions: Erwee (3); Penalty: Erwee.
BORDER BULLDOGS – Tries: Sinovuyo Nyoka, Thembani Mkokeli, Chrislyn van Schalkwyk; Conversions: Ntabeni Dukisa, Louis Kruger (2); Penalty: Dukisa.