Cavaliers keep Griffons at bay
September 03, 2011
The Regent Boland Cavaliers racked up a commanding early lead, then kept the resurgent Tasol Solar Griffons at bay to run out 47-29 (halftime 34-17) winners in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match played at the Boland Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

The home side kept within touching distance of the log-leading EP Kings by notching their sixth victory in seven outings to confirm that the Cavaliers are worthy title contenders this year.

They scored five tries in the process, two of them to former Leopards lock Ligtoring Landman in the opening minutes, but the team once again had flyhalf and man of the match Elgar Watts to thank for keeping a stubborn Griffons side at arm's length.

Watts had a splendid all-round game, but it was his contribution with the boot that proved decisive. The former Matie scored 27 points, via way of a try, five conversions and four penalties on a sunny afternoon that saw around 800 spectators take advantage of a break in the weather following a week of icy and rainy Cape weather.

The Griffons, in contrast, slumped to their sixth defeat in seven games but their lowly fifth position on the log, with only the luckless Border Bulldogs beneath them, doesn't tell the story of a gutsy team who are perhaps just one or two class players short of making an impression.

The visitors scored four tries, but never fully recovered from going down 14-0 after just eight minutes when Landman barged through twice for Watts to convert.

Tireless flanker Burger Schoeman brought the Griffons back to within a score when he crashed over in the 10th minute, but the Cavaliers landed a double blow through tries by centre PJ Vermeulen and right wing Cornal Hendricks to make it 31-7 on the half hour.

The home supporters probably expected the dam wall to well and truly burst, but the Griffons, as they always seem to do, cut the arrears before halftime with a try to the consistently excellent eighthman Nicky Steyn.

The scoreboard operator was given a welcome respite after the break, with no points for either team until Schoeman crashed over for his second after 55 minutes to make it a 10-point ball game.

Griffons centre Japie Nel's try with eight minutes left made it 37-29 but fittingly it was that man Watts who administered the last rites with a last-gasp penalty and a converted try after the hooter.


Boland Cavaliers 47 – Tries: Ligtoring Landman (2), PJ Vermeulen, Cornal Hendricks, Elgar Watts. Conversions: Watts (5). Penalties: Watts (4).

Griffons 29 – Tries: Burger Schoeman (2), Nicky Steyn, Japie Nel. Conversions: Tiaan van Wyk, Reinhardt Erwee (2) Penalty: Erwee.


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