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Van Wyk kicks Griffons to victory
MWP
August 27, 2011
Flyhalf Tiaan van Wyk kicked 21 points as the Tasol Solar Griffons ran out 46-21 (halftime 26-7) victors over the Valke in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match played at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Saturday.

A small crowd of just 300 were on hand to witness the home side run in five good tries to their opponents' three, but it was the deadly boot of Van Wyk that made all the difference on a warm and sunny northern Free State evening.

The pivot kicked three conversions, four penalties and a drop goal to ensure that his team picked up their first win in this year's competition, taking them to 10 log points and fifth place in the standings, ahead of the Border Bulldogs.

For the Valke, who could not manage to pick up a bonus point despite some enterprising play that netted three tries, this was their fourth defeat in six games and they lie fourth, ahead of the Griffons on points difference.

The home side opened their account with Van Wyk's seventh-minute drop goal en route to a commanding 19-point lead at the break, thanks to tries from fullback Tertius Maarman, wing Jaco Meyer and flanker Phillip van der Walt.

The scores all came within the opening 23 minutes to give the Griffons a 20-0 lead, but a yellow card to tighthead prop Sarel Louw on the half hour put the brakes on their dominance.

With the Griffons down to 14 men, the Valke capitalised almost immediately when centre Coert Cronje dived over, converted by ever-reliable replacement flyhalf Martin Thomsen, who had just come onto the field in what looked like a tactical swap with No 10 Chanley Williams.

Van Wyk landed three penalties either side of halftime to stretch his team's lead to 22 points before winger Ricard Pietersen seemingly made sure of the result when he raced over after 45 minutes for Van Wyk to convert (36-7).

The Valke, however, hit back with tries in quick succession to wings Sino Ganto and Kyle Hendricks, the latter converting both to make a game of it at 36-21 with 17 minutes left.

But that proved to be the last time the Valke troubled the scorers, with Van Wyk making doubly sure of the victory with a fourth penalty before fullback Maarman went over on the hooter.

Scorers:

Griffons 46 – Tries: Tertius Maarman (2), Ricardo Pietersen, Phillip van der Walt, Jaco Meyer. Conversions: Tiaan van Wyk (3). Penalties: Van Wyk (4). Drop goal: Van Wyk.

Valke 21 – Tries: Coert Cronjé, Kyle Hendricks, Sino Ganto. Conversions: Hendricks (2), Martin Thomsen.

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