A hat-trick of tries by winger Bjorn Basson led the Wildeklawer Griquas to a convincing 48-22 (halftime 28-10) victory over the Boland Kavaliers in an Absa Currie Cup match in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
Zelim Nel writes for SuperRugby that the Griquas proved to be too powerful for Boland as they raced to a halftime lead on the back of four first-half tries, and added three more to their tally after the break to rout the Kavaliers from Kimberley with nothing to show for their efforts.
A strong tactical kicking game coupled with a stingy defence limited the visitors scoring opportunities, and the Griquas’ finishing instincts saw their wingers account for the majority of their tries for the second consecutive week.
Basson’s hat-trick was complemented by a brace from wing-partner MJ Mentz, and tries by number eight Heinrich Stride and replacement scrumhalf Tobie Botes, while a near flawless kicking display from Conrad Barnard saw the flyhalf add five conversions and a penalty.
Fullback Justin Peach kicked two conversions and a penalty as tighthead prop WP Nel, centre Piet van Zyl and replacement winger Renfred Dazel added scores for the Kavaliers.
Peach put the visitors into a temporary three-point lead when he slotted a penalty four minutes after the kickoff, but the Griquas reversed the advantage a minute later when Basson sped over for his first converted try.
The home team notched up a second try towards the end of the first quarter when Stride powered over from close range after a scrum attack inside the Kavaliers 22.
Boland reduced the deficit by a converted try when Nel crashed over with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. But the Griquas used the final minutes before the break to add a pair of scores when Basson dived over for his second and Mentz gathered a fumbled up-and-under just outside the Kavaliers 22 to notch up the home team’s bonus point try.
The Kavaliers were again the first to score when Van Zyl penetrated the line 11 minutes after the restart from an attacking scrum inside the home team’s 22 and Peach converted.
Barnard rifled a 40-metre penalty over five minutes later before a lineout deep in Boland territory was sent wide and Mentz raced over to give the Griquas a 38-17 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Basson claimed his hat-trick with 11 minutes to go when he received the ball near halfway, toed it downfield and outpaced the defenders to gather and score in the corner.
The Kavaliers fought back when Dazel jinked through the line from a wide-ranging attack to score three minutes later, but Botes sealed the win with a minute remaining when he received a return pass from Barnard off a scrum in the Boland 22 to scramble over near the uprights.
The victory lifts the Griquas to 19 log points, though they remain in sixth place, while the Kavaliers’ position remains unchanged as they end the weekend with 13 points, tied with the Valke in last place and facing a likely relegation playoff match at season’s end to retain their place in the competition next year.
Tries: Bjorn Basson (3), Heinrich Stride, MJ Mentz (2), Tobie Botes.
Conversions: Conrad Barnard (5).
Tries: WP Nel, Piet van Zyl, Renfred Dazel.
Conversions: Justin Peach (2).