Griffons to host Valke in First Division final

Oct 3 • General News • 1599 Views • Comments Off on Griffons to host Valke in First Division final

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The Down Touch Griffons will host the Valke in Welkom in the Absa Currie Cup First Division final on October 17 after the teams emerged victorious in thrilling semifinals on Friday.

The Down Touch Griffons registered a narrow 45-43 victory against the SWD Eagles in Welkom, while the Valke defeated log-leaders the Leopards 31-24 in Potchefstroom to book their places in the final.

The victories for the Down Touch Griffons and Valke marked their first wins of the season against their respective opposition teams.

Down Touch Griffons 45 (13) SWD Eagles 43 (16)

The clash between the Down Touch Griffons and SWD Eagles was thrilling as the teams showed their desire to advance to the final from the outset. The visitors, who registered home and away victories against the Welkom side this season, took an early lead with a penalty by points machine Elric van Vuuren and they continued to take advantage of their point-scoring chances which earned them a 16-13 lead at the break.

The teams continued to put their bodies on the line in the second half and scored tries at will, with the home team adding four tries to the one scored in the first half, while SWD increased their tally for the match to four. Van Vuuren added his fifth penalty of the match with two minutes left on the clock to hand his team a one-point lead. But their hopes of toppling the Down Touch Griffons for the third time this season for a final berth were dashed by a late drop goal by flyhalf Louis Strydom, which sealed the victory for the hosts.

Scorers:

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Chris Ehlers, Norman Nelson (2), Tertius Maarman, Wynand Pienaar. Conversions: Louis Strydom (4). Penalties: Louis Strydom (2). Drop Goals: Louis Strydom (2).

SWD Eagles – Tries: Ashwin Scott, Christo Du Plessis, Clinton Wagman (2). Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (4). Penalties: Elric van Vuuren (5).

Leopards 24 (19) Valke 31 (19)

The clash in Potchefstroom was equally exciting as the Valke scored three back-to-back tries in 11 minutes after conceding an early try against the Leopards, which pushed them into a morale-boosting lead early in the second quarter. The Leopards replied with another two tries before half time to level the scores at 19-19 at the break.

The Valke continued to use their point-scoring chances well in the second half as they showed patience and flair on attack, which allowed them to build up an encouraging 31-19 lead, which they managed to maintain until the fourth quarter. In stark contrast the Leopards’ performance was riddled with errors at crucial times, which denied them momentum and possible points. The Valke were reduced to 14 men in the 72nd minute when replacement hooker Bruce Muller was sent to the sin bin, which the Leopards took advantage of to score their fourth try of the match. This reduced the deficit on the scoreboard to seven points with five minutes to go. But the Leopards were unable to level to scores to force the match into extra time as mistakes continued to cost them in the dying minutes.

Scorers:

Leopards – Tries: Ryno Smith (2), Sylvian Mahuza (2). Penalties: André Pretorius (2).

Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter, Bruce Muller, Dirk Dippenaar (2), JP Mostert. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (3).

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