Currie Cup

Griffons come from behind to beat Valke

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The Griffons twice came from behind to beat the Valke 35-19 in a Currie Cup First Division match played at the North West stadium in Welkom on Saturday.

The halftime score was 7-12. The home team recovered from a shaky opening half-hour, during which they conceded two tries, before finishing strongly to climb up to second on the table.

The Northern Free Staters scored five tries to three and in so doing claimed a full house of five points, which takes them to 20 – four behind the all-conquering Pumas and five clear of the third-placed Eagles with four rounds to play.

The Valke remain rooted to the bottom of the table with two points from their six matches. The visitors didn’t play like log table bottom-feeders in the first 30 minutes, however.

The men from Gauteng played with vigour and were rewarded with early tries from right wing Wensley Mbanje and centre Franco Booysen.
 
Flyhalf Martin Thomsen converted Booysen’s try to make it 12-0 but the Griffons cut the lead to five points shortly before the interval thanks to a try from left wing Roelof Steyn, converted by their evergreen flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba.

The Valke again threatened to stretch their wings when they made it 19-7 in the 48th minute after Thomsen scored a try that he converted himself.

But that was the last time the men in red bothered the scoreboard operators, whose work for the rest of the afternoon entailed moving the home side’s score up in multiples of seven on no less than four occasions.

Griffons eighthman Nicky Steyn played his heart out and was rewarded with two good tries – a feat matched by centre Thabang Molefe.

Tsimba, as always, had his kicking boots on and his 10-point haul constantly kept the Valke at bay while his teammates went about the business of clawing their way back into a match they could so easily have lost.

Final Score Griffons 35 Valke 19

Scorers:

Griffons –
Tries: Roelof Steyn, Nicky Steyn (2), Thabang Molefe (2)
Conversions: Kennedy Tsimba (5).

Valke –
Tries: Wensley Mbanje, Franco Booysen, Martin Thomsen.
Conversions: Thomsen (2).

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