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Rugby | Currie Cup First Division

Duan Pretoruis © Gallo Images

Griffons defend title against Leopards



The Down Touch Griffons ran in eight tries to convincingly beat the Leopards 60-36 (halftime 25-12) in the Currie Cup 1st Division final at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.

The second Currie Cup 1st Division final between these two teams in as many years was greeted by a warm and sunny Welkom, a perfect end to a hard-fought competition for the Griffons and Leopards.

Flyhalf Gaun Kotze opened the Griffons' account in the fourth minute as his penalty goal sailed through the uprights.

The men from Welkom continued their rampant form that saw them make the final as they scored three first-half tries through flank Duan Pretorius (9'), Kotze (15') and wing Tertius Maarman (21').

The Leopards struggled to contain the home team as they only managed to score their first points in the 30th minute as wing Jimmy Mpailane crossed the whitewash. Flyhalf Gerhard Nortier followed up with a converted try of his own moments later.

Kotze's boot brought an end to the first half as he landed a penalty goal to give the Griffons a 25-12 lead at the break.

The Leopards responded magnificently as the match resumed with three tries courtesy of wing Gene Willemse, hooker Dane van der Westhuizen and replacement loose forward Gideon van der Merwe as the Leopards took the lead for the first time.

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The Griffons showed that there is a reason that they are the defending champions as they hit back through replacement loose forward Vincent Maruping's brace to retake the lead while Maarman scored his second with time fast running out.

The Leopards did score a consolation try through No 8 Jeandre Rudolph but it was not enough as the Griffons ended the match with a 60-36 win and another year of Currie Cup 1st Division bragging rights.

SCORERS

Down Touch Griffons
Tries: Duan Pretorius, Guan Kotze, Tertius Maarman (2), Neil Claassen, Shawn Cupido, Vincent Maruping (2)
Conversion: Kotze (7)
Penalties: Kotze (2).

Leopards
Tries: Jimmy Mpailane, Gene Williams, Gerhard Nortier, Dane van der Westhuizen, Gideon van der Merwe, Jeandre Rudolph
Conversion: Nortier (3)



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