Griffons beat Valke for first win
Flyhalf Reinhardt Erwee kept a 100 per cent kicking record to help Griffons claim a first win of their Vodacom Cup campaign on Friday when they overcame the Valke 38-33 (halftime 21-14) in a North Section clash at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.
The visiting number 10 was successful with all six attempts on goal, which proved key to his side’s win.
Both teams scored five tries apiece, with Danie van der Merwe, Thabang Molefe, Willie Britz, Shane Hancke and Tertius Maarman crossing for the visitors.
The Valke, who stayed in touch for the better part of an hour, had their tries come via a double from Frederick Cronje, while Wikus Coetzer, Willem Odendaal and Juan Kotze also went over.
But they fell short and eventually slipped to a fourth loss in five games this season, the same record as their Welkom-based visitors.
The match began with the home side conceding a try inside the opening
90 seconds with prop Van der Merwe benefitting from a quickly taken penalty to barge his way over for a converted score.
Opposition number one responded at the other end 13 minutes later when he was in for the Valke’s first try.
Kotze added the conversion and was called into action again shortly after when centre Cronje went in for his first try -- the only time in the match that the home side were in front.
Molefe and Britz then scored two more converted tries before the break, with a crucial yellow card for JW Bell sandwiched in between as the hosts were left to play with 14 men just before the break.
It was 21-14 at the half time and after the restart the home side were down to 13 after a caution for Reg Muller and the lead was stretched even further when Shane Hancke went over for another score, converted by Erwee.
Cronje hit back with his second try, converted by Kotze, before any hopes of a comeback were killed off just before the hour mark when Maarman darted almost 70 metres for a breakaway converted try that took the lead to 14.
Odendaal scored a fourth try for the Valke that was not converted, with Griffons number 10 Erwee landing a penalty, before Kotze late effort proved immaterial as the visitors held on.
Valke – Tries: Frederick Cronje (2), Wikus Coetzer, Willem Odendaal, Juan Kotze. Conversions: Kotze (4).
Griffons – Tries: Danie van der Merwe, Thabang Molefe, Willie Britz, Shane Hancke, Tertius Maarman. Conversions: Erwee Reinhardt (5). Penalties: Reinhardt.