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Griffons’ kicker saves Griquas

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Narrow win for hosts was thanks to six missed conversions by the visitors

ICE MAN: André Swarts of the Tafel Lager Griquas kept his cool on Saturday and kicked the penalty that ensured that the hosts got back to winning ways in their narrow win over the Down Touch Griffons in their match played in Kathu. Picture: BackpagePix

Tafel Lager Griquas held their nerve to complete a narrow 38-37 (half-time 21-20) victory over Down Touch Griffons in their SuperSport Rugby Challenge fixture at Sivos Stadium, in Kathu, on Saturday.

It was a ding-dong battle, in which both sides led at various stages with the Griffons enjoying a healthy 32-21 lead through 47 minutes. However, they were unable to handle the pressure exerted on them in the last half-hour of the match.

Griquas led the try-scoring stakes with 24 tries in three matches ahead of this game and they added five more to that tally, but they will be concerned that they also conceded seven to the visiting Griffons.

The visitors had a single win to their name and were desperate to keep themselves on track for the play-offs by winning this game. But unfortunately their place-kicking left much to be desired on the day and they only managed to convert one of their seven tries.

There were some nail-biting moments for the hosts when the Griffons’ Mosoeu Marupling forced his way over with 13 minutes remaining, taking the score to 37-35.

André Swarts remained calm under pressure, however, to slot a 72nd-minute penalty and clinch the game for Griquas, who remain second on the Central Section log.

Fitness and conditioning coach Neil Murphy told the DFA after the match that he was pleased with the way the boys had stuck to the game plan.

“Going into this match with 10 changes was always going to be about sticking to our game plan and being able to adapt to the strong winds. With only our scrums really holding shape, we were poor in most of our decision-making which made it difficult for us to go forward with our plan.

However, the second half was once again, about playing catch-up, which we did very well, coming from behind to hang on to a one-point lead. But the Griffons kickers were way off the mark and thanks to them we won the game.”

Murphy said that they should never have allowed the game to get away from them, emphasising the need to tighten up their basics.

“We really need to fix certain areas and make sure we do the basics right; as well as allow momentum to build in order to once again beat the Leopards team, who will be hungry for revenge.”

Griquas travel to Potchefstroom this weekend to face the Leopards at the Fanie du Toit Stadium on Friday at 3pm.

Results round-up

Friday

Toyota Free State XV 12-10 Cell C Sharks XV

Saturday

iCOLLEGE Pumas 54-7 Hino Valke

Boland Cavaliers 40-37 Eastern Province

Tafel Lager Griquas 38-37 Down Touch Griffons

Yesterday

Vodacom Blue Bulls 27-20 Xerox Golden Lions XV

SWD Eagles 3-50 DHL Western Province