Valke open with good win
Duane Heath
July 16, 2011
Two late tries from the Griffons weren’t enough to prevent the Valke from getting their Absa Currie Cup First Division campaign off to the best possible start when they ran out 38-27 (halftime 17-10) winners at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.

The home side gave the 250 die-hard supporters who came through the gates plenty to cheer about, dotting down three times in each half to run out more comfortable winners than the scoreline may suggest.

Griffons flanker Willem Britz scored two tries in the final 10 minutes to put some gloss on the final result, but in truth the Valke were already far out of range at 38-15 when the flanker set about registering a late brace.

Valke flyhalf Martin Thomsen had a big hand in his team’s win, marshaling his troops well and kicking with aplomb out of hand and at posts.

Thomsen opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a well taken try before his halfback partner Willem Odendaal made it 10-0 inside 15 minutes.

The Griffons struck right back with a converted try from lock Gavin Annandale after 17 minutes, followed shortly afterwards with a penalty via flyhalf Jannie Myburgh that drew the scores level.

But this proved to be the closest the Griffons came to threatening to head back to Welkom with the spoils, the Valke scoring either side of halftime through prop Zane Killian and wing Carlyle Hendricks to stretch their lead to 24-10.

The Valke extended the advantage to 21 points after 51 minutes when replacement hooker Jacques George crashed over for Thomsen to convert.

Veteran Griffons wing Eddie Fredericks kept his team in the hunt with a try on the hour but the Valke responded in kind, right wing Sinovuyo Ganto diving over with 15 minutes left to make it 38-15.

The home side then took their foot off the pedal, allowing Britz to narrow the gap and the Griffons to finish strongly, but by then the hard yards had already been done.


Valke 38 – Tries: Martin Thomsen, Willem Odendaal, Zane Killian, Carlyle Hendricks, Jacques George, Sinovuyo Ganto. Conversions: Thomsen (4).

Griffons 27 – Tries: Gavin Annandale, Eddie Fredericks, Willem Britz (2). Conversions: Jannie Myburgh, Tiaan van Wyk. Penalty: Myburgh.


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