Griquas win wet-weather battle
April 07, 2016

The Griquas handled the wet conditions better than their opponents as they ground out a 34-14 (halftime 15-7) win over the Down Touch Griffons in their provincial tournament match at Griqua Park in Kimberley on Thursday.

The hosts ran in four tries to two while flyhalf Clinton Swart scored a try and kicked four penalties and a conversion for a personal haul of 19 points in a match played in heavy rain which resulted in an error-strewn match with both teams battling to hang onto the ball in the difficult conditions.

As the match wore on, and the rain continued to fall, tactical kicking became the order of the day as both teams looked to win the territorial battle with 11 handling errors shared between the two teams in the first half alone.

It took less than two minutes for the Griquas to open their account after right wing Alshaun Bock broke strongly down the blindside on a jinking 40 metre-run before off-loading to lock Mzwanele Zito who dotted down in the right-hand corner for an unconverted score.

Griffons’ flyhalf George Whitehead missed two penalty attempts in the testing conditions before the Griquas extended their lead courtesy of a 15th minute penalty from Swart.

The visitors then enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and they turned down two kickable penalties in an attempt to set up attacking line-ups.

Their efforts were finally rewarded, in the 22nd minute, when eighthman Martin Sithole broke down the blindside from a scrum 10 metres from the Griquas’ tryline to muscle his way over in the left-hand corner with Whitehead slotting the difficult conversion attempt to narrow the gap to just one point.

The Griquas started to gain the ascendency in the scrums and the lineouts as the first half wore on and five minutes before the break they grabbed their second try when inside centre Jonathan Francke took a well-timed pop pass from fullback Eric Zana to crash over from close-range with Swart kicking the conversion as the Griquas moved to a 15-7 halftime lead.

Swart opened the second-half scoring with his second successful penalty but the second stanza became a sloppy affair in the wet conditions before Swart slotted a 58th-minute penalty to push the Griquas into a 21-7 lead.

Swart kicked his third penalty of the half with just under 15 minutes left in the game before the hosts made sure of the win as outside centre AJ Coertzen sniped over on the blindside after a powerful rolling maul from the Griquas’ forwards.

There was just enough time for Griffons’ right wing Selwyn Davids to grab a consolation try after he hacked through a loose ball before chasing down his own kick for a converted score before the Griquas grabbed a bonus-point try with a last minute maul which saw Swart pushed over the line for his team’s fourth try.


Griquas – Tries: Mzwanele Zito, Jonathan Francke, AJ Coertzen, Clinton Swart; Conversion: Swart; Penalties: Swart (4).

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Martin Sithole, Selwyn Davids; Conversions: George Whitehead (2).

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