Griquas remain unbeaten after edging Falcons
CRAVEN WEEK REPORT: Charles Williams was in superb scoring form as he took Griquas to a 60-52 victory over the Falcons on Day Four of the Craven Week.
Once again, defence was not at a premium as a total of 17 tries was scored between the teams - Griquas edging the Falcons nine tries to eight.
The Falcons' Leshley October and Ruben Beytell scored three tries each while Timothy Harding and Williams bagged a brace each.
It was a real arm wrestle in opening minutes but handling errors proved to be the downfall of both sides. Once Griquas settled, they showed what they can do as they bagged the opening try of the match in the ninth minute.
They strung together a few phases before shovelling the ball wide to Timothy Harding, who dived over in the corner. Charles Williams slotted the tricky conversion to hand his side a 7-0 lead.
That score woke the Falcons up and they went on the attack to search for points of their own. They worked their way into Griquas' half before displaying some clever offloads which saw them break through Griquas' defences.
After a few more offloads, Leshley October found his way over the line. Jean-Piere Pieterse added the conversion to level matters at 7-7 after 14 minutes.
Griquas hit back immediately as Edrich Brand took a quick penalty inside the Falcons' 22 that caught the defence napping. He charged for the line and got over in the corner to retake the lead. Ramon Sauls failed to add the conversion but Griquas led 12-7 after 16 minutes.
The Falcons conceded a penalty close to the halfway line and Williams opted to have a shot at goal. He struck it beautifully and watched it sail over the crossbar to extend his side's lead to 15-7 after 20 minutes.
Griquas continued their dominance as they held onto possession and took the game to the Falcons. Lambert Cronjé ran a straight line inside the Falcons' 22 to power his way through and over the line for his side's third try of the game. Williams' conversion took the score to 22-7 after 25 minutes.
The Falcons continued to persevere and began to grind down Griquas' defence. They once again ran the ball and relied on their offload game to get them over the advantage line. This brought reward on two occasions as Ruben Beytell was on hand to dot twice within the space of a minute.
Neither try was converted though but the Falcons managed to claw themselves back to trail 17-22 in the 32nd minute.
The Falcons came out to play in the early stages of the second half but were punished when they turned over possession. The Griquas launched a counter attack that saw them enter the Falcons' 22. The final offload found Harding, who cut infield to score his second try of the game.
Williams slotted the tricky conversion to stretch his side's lead to 29-17 after 38 minutes.
Griquas were in the ascendancy and made the Falcons pay for a poorly executed line-out. The Falcons overthrew the feed and Williams reacted quickest to collect the loose ball and race away for his first try of the match. He failed with the conversion but the lead was stretched to 34-17 after 43 minutes.
Griquas' dominance continued as a quickly taken penalty by Edrich Brand inside his 22, saw them run the ball all the way over the Falcons' try-line, Ramon Sauls the man to get the try. Williams' conversion ensured a 41-17 lead after 46 minutes.
The Griquas seventh try came in similar fashion as they once again ran the ball from inside their 22. The ball went through the hands and nearly every player was involved in eventually getting Wium Becker to score. Williams hit the upright with his conversion as Griquas led 46-17 after 50 minutes.
Both sides threw defence out of the window and ran the ball at every chance. Wesley Noeth and October - his second of the match - went over for the Falcons for converted tries while Williams grabbed his second try of the game for Griquas in the space of eight minutes.
Griquas led 53-31 at that stage before Craige Ockhuis scored Griquas' ninth of the match. Williams' conversion took the score to 60-31 after 62 minutes.
The flood gates remained wide open as Beytell claimed a hat-trick two minutes later when he went through unopposed. He converted to see his side trail 38-60 after 64 mins. The Falcons reduced the deficit to 45-60 with two minutes remaining when October secured his hat-trick. Once again Beytell was on target with the conversion.
There was time for one more Falcons try as Dylan Schwartz broke through the Griquas defence to dot down un der the uprights. He popped over the conversion to reduce the deficit to 52-60 after 70 minutes.
Tries: Timothy Harding 2, Edrich Brand, Lambert Cronjé, Charles Williams 2, Ramon Sauls, Wium Becker, Craige Ockhuis
Cons: Charles Williams 6
Pen: Charles Williams
Tries: Leshley October 3, Ruben Beytell 3, Wesley Noeth, Dylan Schwartz
Cons: Jean-Piere Pieterse, Dylan Schwartz 4, Ruben Beytell
Yellow card: Carson Koekemoer (Falcons, 45; dangerous play - neck roll)
Griquas: 15 Rowan Malgas (Prieska), 14 Lambert Cronjé (Diamantveld), 13 Majolo Lenge (Hoërlandbouskool Noordkaap), 12 Wium Becker (Noordkaap), 11 Maurice Amerika (Noordkaap), 10 Charles Williams (Diamantveld), 9 Jannie van Niekerk (Diamantveld), 8 Edrich Brand (Noordkaap), 7 Leonard Barnard (Diamantveld), 6 Jeffery Muzaza (Noordkaap), 5 Deon van Niekerk (Noordkaap), 4 Leon van Jaarsveld (Noordkaap), 3 Edwill Speelman (Diamantveld), 2 Rory Leijdekkers (Noordkaap), 1 WS Coetzer (Diamantveld), 16 Nolan Coetzee (Noordkaap), 17 Jay-Dee Dampies (Noordkaap), 18 Rodulph Fourie (Diamantveld), 19 Hendrik Smit (Diamantveld), 20 Enrico Mawawane (Noordkaap), 21 Craige Ockhuis (Noordkaap), 22 Ramon Sauls (Noordkaap), 23 Timothy Harding (Diamantveld).
Falcons: 15 Mpho Ntsane (Tranvalia), 14 Leshley October (Dr EG Jansen), 13 Dylan Schwarts (Dr. EG Jansen), 12 Dwayne Fourie (Dr EG Jansen), 11 Davd Mokhothu (Carel de Wet), 10 Jean-Piere Pieterse (Transvalia), 9 Ruben Beytell (Dr EG Jansen), 8 Carson Koekemoer (Dr EG Jansen),7 Thabo Ndimande (Hans Moore), 6 Wesley Noeth (Dr EG Jansen), 5 Elrigh Louw (Transvalia), 4 Reinhardt Venter (Dr. EG Jansen), 3 Morne Stander (Transvalia), 2 Enrico Robbertze (Verreniging Gim), 1 Marcus Nyirenda (Parys). 16 Leander Du Plessis (Kemptonpark), 17 Robert Vilikazi (Sasolburg), 18 Johannes Swanepoel (Vereeniging Gim), 19 Patriach Mkwananzi (Voortrekker), 20 Eliizee Kwitonda (Voortrekker), 21 Thabang Zungu (St Dunstans College), 22 Mahlasi Thabang (Drie Rivier), 23 Franco Pienaar.
Referee: Pieter Maritz
Assistant referees: Paul Mente, Oregopotse Rametsi