Blue Griffons too Good for Blue Bulls XV
The Griffons in royal blue beat the Blue Bulls in sky blue 50-22 in a Craven Week match at Grey College in Bloemfontein on Thursday, Day 4 of the week – this despite a comeback by the Blue Bulls XV that took the score from 33-5 to 33-22.
Royal Blue score first, then Sky Blue, and then Royal Blue took over. Each of those first tries was special – the first for creative skill, second for sheer power.
The Griffons turned a penalty into a five-metre lineout, but did not maul, the Ball went immediately to scrumhalf who gave to flyhalf and inside centre Duncan Amsterdam knifed through for a try at the posts. Flank MacNeil Matthews converted – flank and he kicked so well throughout the match.
The Blue Bulls attacked down the left and, despite hindrances, prop Werner Kruger powered on and on and over for a try in the right corner. 7-5 after 13 minutes.
For the next 22 minutes the game belonged to the Griffons who took the score to 33-5 at half time with tries Roscoe Ruiters off a long pass by Shaquille van Heerden, Amsterdam after a charge by Warren Louw, a stumbling try over 40 metres by centre-turned-fullback Dylan Smith after Ruiters had started a counterattack, and then a second try by speedy Ruiters after a breakout by Marno April when the Blue Bulls were in the attack in the Griffons’ 22.
The Blue Bulls XV scored three unanswered tries in the second half to take the score to 33-22 and they had an improbable victory in sight. The Griffons were attacking when scrumhalf Chad-Lee Valentine broke out and gave to speedy Eddie Wesso who scored. 33-10.
Lock Jaryd Scheepers forced his way ahead and this time it was Carlton Banies who scored. 33-15 after 46 minutes.
The Blue Bulls XV produced the maul of the tournament so far, rushing it down several metres. They won a penalty, and Johan Potgieter tapped and scored. This time flyhalf Justin Cross converted. 33-22, which could so easily have been 33-28 and they had a promising attack with Shandon Botha and Ruiters prominent but the Griffons got back control and Mickey Matthews kicked a penalty n to make it 36-22.
Still, the Blue Bulls XV kept trying till Justin Potgieter intercepted, Smith went on a run and Calle Pienaar was over in the corner, a try which Matthews converted from far out. 43–22.
There was time for a powerful surge by Warren Louw and long run in a counterattack by Theuns Pretorius and then a try which started in the Griffons’ 22. Rian Olivier started with a burst and set Neil Harmse running. He gave to Amsterdam who shucked off three defenders ad he raced 53 metres for the try, which Matthews converted. And the final whistle sounded.
It was a really good match.
Tries: Duncan Amsterdam 3, Roscoe Ruiters 2, Dylan Smith, Calla Pienaar
Cons: MacNeil Matthews 6
Pen: MacNeil Matthews
For Blue Bulls XV
Tries: Werner Kruger, Eddie Wesso, Carlton Banies, Lohan Potgieter
Cons: Justin Cross
Griffons: 15 Dylan Smith, 14 Roscoe Ruiters, 13 Frans Postma, 12 Duncan Amsterdam, 11 Marno April, 10 Cammi Roux, 9 Shaquille van Heerden, 8 Keke Morabe (captain), 7 Justin Kritzinger, 6 MacNeil Matthews, 5 Calla Pienaar, 4 Vuyo Holiday, 3 Johan Pretorius, 2 Marthinus Nel, 1 Warren Louw
Replacements: 16 Franco-Lee Ceaser, 17 Kamshen Moss, 18 Rian Olivier, 19 Neil Harmse, 20 JC Allan, 21 Jaimie Heynes, 22 Morné Maastriet
Blue Bulls XV: 15 Kenan Damons, 14 Eddie Wesso, 13 Carlton Banies, 12 Theuns Pretorius, 11 Mashudu Muleya, 10 Justin Cross, 9 Chad-Lee Valentine, 8 Armand Fleidl, 7 Lohan Potgieter (captain),6 Tino Kuwana, 5 Reinhardt Ludwig, 4 Onka Segooa, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Tiaan Lange, 1 Isaac Khelo
Replacements: 16 Manie Potgieter, 17 Omphile Makhafola, 18 Reinhardt Nel, 19 Jaryd Scheepers, 20 Jacobs Rashelo, 21 Jovander Zeeland, 22 Shandon Botha, 23 Ruan Oosthuizen
Referee: Rauiridh Campbell (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy), Phillip Kotze
Television match official: Paul Larter (Scotland)