The Griffons staged a fine comeback to beat the Boland Cavaliers 50-42 in an entertaining and high-scoring Currie Cup promotion/relegation match in Welkom on Friday.
Rugby 365 reports that, the win – in a 13-try feast – in the second of their encounters was not enough to overturn the 39-point deficit for the Griffons, who will remain in the First Division and the Cavaliers retain their Currie Cup Premier Division status.
Very few gave the Griffons a winning chance this time, but they played with a lot of pride – and scored seven tries to six.
The Griffons’ hopes of playing in the Premier League next season was buried in the 56th minute when Boland flank Zolani Mofu charged down a kick from Kennedy Tsimba to secure a bonus point.
The home team played constructive rugby for 80 minutes, while the Boland defence let them down at times.
Halfway through the second half, it even looked like Boland stopped playing knowing they will remain in the Currie Cup.
Boland captain, Piet van Zyl, was full of praise for the Griffons.
“We knew what to expect. Playing at Welkom is never easy, but the Griffons came down hard on us.
“They showed that they are a team with character and dominated us today.
“Of course we are not happy with our performance today, but we are happy to stay in the big league,” he said.
The Cavaliers took an early lead with a Bradley Mockford try. but the Griffons hit back with one from Darryl Coeries. Further tries by Angelo Brinkhuys (Cavaliers) and Jaun de Wit (Griffons) saw the team stay in close contact on the scoreboard.
However, a converted Andries Kruger try saw the Griffons take the lead for the first time – a 19-14 advantage they held to the half-time break.
A drop-goal by Jandré Blom stretched the home team’s lead further, before tries by Deon Scholtz and Zolani Mofu put the Cavaliers back in the lead.
The tit-for-tat action continued – with Ockert van Zyl and Dewey Swartbooi trading tries.
However, tries by Jacko Jackson and Blom put the Griffons in command and when Hugo Kleynhans scored in the 77th minute the win was sealed for the Griffons.
But even by then the lea was not big enough to secure the Griffons promotion and a late score by Deon Scholtz confirmed the Boland’s stay in the top flight.
For the Griffons:
Tries: Blom, Coeries, De Wit, Jackson, Kleynhans, Kruger, Van Zyl
Cons: Blom 2, Tsimba 4
For the Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: Brinkhuys, Mockford, Mofu, Scholtz 2, Swartbooi
Cons: Cornelius, Peach 5
Griffons: 15 Cecil Afrika, 14 Darryl Coeries, 13 Jacko Jackson, 12 Werner Griesel, 11 Juan de Wit, 10 Kennedy Tsimba, 9 Jandré Blom, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Francois Uys, 6 Jonathan Mokuena, 5 Ockie van Zyl, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 Jaco Louw, 2 Andries Kruger, 1 Sarel Louw.
Replacements: 16 KleinJan Ferreira, 17 Gert Greyling, 18 Sandile India, 19 Shaun Botha, 20 Nicky Steyn, 21 Hugo Kleynhans/Branco du Preez, 22 Virgil Russell.
Boland: 15 Justin Peach, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Piet van Zyl (captain), 12 Hein Myburgh, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 David Hendricks, 7 Angelo Brinkhuys, 6 Zolani Mofu, 5 Bradley Mockford, 4 Nico Esterhuyse, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Wium, 1 Jean Botha.
Replacements: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 WP Nel, 18 Cecil Kemp, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Neil Papier, 21 Dewey Swartbooi, 22 Lionel Cornelius.
Referee: Craig Joubert
Touch judges: Lourens van der Merwe, Peet Badenhorst
TMO: Johann Meuwesen