Griffons snatch last-gasp win
The Griffons grabbed a late try to snatch a last-gasp victory 38-32 (half-time 16-17) victory over the Platinum Leopards in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The Griffons found themselves trailing by one point with less than five minutes left in the match but they made sure of the win in the 76th minute when flank Martin Sithole rumbled over for his second try of the match.
Flyhalf Hansie Graaf was the Griffons other hero during the match as he contributed 23 points courtesy of a try, three conversions and four penalties as the Griffons snapped a four-match losing streak.
Graaf’s prodigious points-scoring proved to be the difference in a tight contest which saw both teams score four tries.
The victory came after a superb fightback from the visitors who had found themselves trailing 29-16 in the 46th minute.
But tries for lock Chris Ehlers and Sithole’s brace as well as two conversions and a penalty from Graaf sealed the come-from-behind win.
The first-half had been a tight affair after Graaf had opened the scoring with a second-minute penalty.
Graaf then converted his own try in the 12th minute as the Griffons leapt into a 10-0 lead.
But the Leopards roared back into contention thanks to a penalty from flyhalf Andre Pretorius and converted tries from lock Siyanda Ndlovu and loosehead prop BG Uys.
However, two penalties from Graaf meant that the Leopards held a slim 17-16 lead at half-time.
The Leopards began the second-half as the stronger of the two teams and they must have thought that they had seen off the Griffons’ challenge after fullback Hoffman Maritz scooted over for a try before hooker Marius Fourie barged his way over for a converted try.
But the Griffons refused to go away as they scored 15 unanswered points to edge into a 31-29 lead in the 73rd minute.
The Leopards did not go quietly and Pretorius stroked over a penalty in the 75th minute to give the hosts a one-point lead only for Sithole the break the hearts of the majority of the 8 600-strong crowd.
Platinum Leopards – Tries: Siyanda Ndlovu, BG Uys, Hoffman Maritz, Marius Fourie; Conversions: Andre Pretorius (3); Penalties: Pretorius (2).
Griffons – Tries: Hansie Graaf, Chris Ehlers, Martin Sithole (2); Conversion: Graaf (3); Penalties: Graaf (4)