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A good day’s fishing

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Tafel Lager Griquas kick off Supersport Rugby challenge campaign with impressive win over Sharks

IMPRESSIVE START: Griquas new scrumhalf Louis Venter (left) had a cracker of a game against the Sharks on Saturday. Picture: Dave Alexander

Tafel Lager Griquas’ Enver Brandt must have had the right bait on Saturday afternoon, with the left wing having a successful fishing trip against the Cell C Sharks.

Brandt scored three tries, raked in the Man of the Match award and helped his team to their first win to kick-start their SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign.

Last year’s losing finalists scored seven tries to add a bonus point to the four for the victory, while the Sharks picked up a bonus-point themselves for scoring five tries of their own in the Central Section encounter.

Griquas 50-33 win on Saturday puts them second on the competition’s Central Section log, behind the Griffons only on points-difference.

The Griffons for their part had a field day against the Leopards in Schweizer-Reneke with the Purple People Eaters romping to a 47-21 victory. Griquas next game will be against these wounded Leopards this weekend during the Wildeklawer Super Schools at Diamantveld High School.

Saturday’s crowd at Tafel Lager Park were treated to an intense game of rugby, with the hosts showing great determination and application; at half-time Griquas led 29-14.

Though it’s still early days in the competition the Kimberley team showed that their pre-season preparation is already paying dividends.

In addition to Brandt’s brilliance on the left side of the field there was all round support coming from hooker AJ le Roux, who dotted down twice himself, in addition to lock Jono Janse van Rensburg and nuggety scrumhalf Louis Venter also crossing for five-pointers of their own.

It must be said that Venter was particularly impressive in this match.

Meanwhile, flyhalf André Swarts kicked three conversions and his replacement, Pieter-Steyn de Wet slotted three times to give the hosts a comprehensive victory at home.

So complete was Griquas’ performance that the visitors actually found themselves beaten in every department. They did, however manage to score some brilliant tries of their own with all their tries being scored by their backline.

An area of concern for Griquas was the fact that the points that were scored against them were soft points. Poor execution of some of their passes, terrible handling as well as a few missed tackles are some of the things that the team need to work on before they go much further in the competition.

Griquas assistant and forwards coach, Denzil Frans, said that overall they were happy with Saturday’s performance.

”In general we are chuffed with our start to the season. I thought we had the upper hand at the set-piece. We also scrummed well and our line-outs were sound. Our maul went well and set a good foundation for the attack.

“We had a good overall team performance with the backs and forwards combining well and we are an extremely happy camp.

Frans added though that there were those alarm bells indicating flaws that they need to work on as they prepare for their next fixture in the competition. “We had a few lapses in our defence, but I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis. We will be working on those during the week.

“We needed to more tactical in the first half. In the second half we fared much better. Our breakdowns were good but there is always room for improvement,” he said.

Point Scorers

Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Enver Brandt (3), AJ le Roux (2), Jonathan Janse van Rensburg and Lois Venter (1 each). Conversions: André Swarts (3) and Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3). Penalty: Swarts.

Cell C Sharks – Tries: Ilunga Mukendi (2), Grant Williams, Jeremy Ward and Morné Joubert. Conversions: Garth April (3) and Courtney Winnaar.

Results Round-up

Boland Kavaliers 49 – 24 Border Bulldogs

Griquas 50 – 33 Sharks

Pumas 36 – 18 Blue Bulls

Welwitschias 7 – 39 Valke

Leopards 21 – 47 Griffons