Falcons soar over Limpopo
Limpopo and Falcons shared the spoils at halftime, but four tries by Falcons in the second half were more than enough to secured a victory.
Limpopo were tentalising with great runs as the backline pairing of scrumhalf Eduan Smit and flyhalf Wernich Kachelhoffer dictated much of the opening minutes. The men in blue kept Falcons inside their own 5 metre for most of the opening minutes.
Thus it came as no surprise when Limpopo were the first on the board. Their constant pressure was rewarded. Limpopo captain Stefan Engelbrecht blasted over the chalk for a five pointer. Five minutes gone Limpopo were leading by five points. 5-0.
Minutes later Kachelhoffer was up to his tricks again, as he made an amazing break. He sliced through the Falcons defence and added the second try. Kachelhoffer extended the lead with an easy conversion, 12-0.
Falcons were not about to take this laying down, and hit back with a try of their own. Ruben Beytell scored for his side, while Ginter Smuts added the extra two, 12-7.
It was an entertaining match to watch. The boys were relentless and fearless, as they produced not-stop counterattacks.
Just shy of 20 minutes Falcons Smuts narrowed the deficit to two points with a penalty, 10-12.
But in this tit for tat match, Limpopo sought their third try-scoring opportunity on the 26 minutes. Engelbreght made some good metres, as he handoffs defenders. The passed fell neatly into the hands of Noko Malatji. But the wing's foot was on the touch-line. The score remained 12-10.
As the clock ticked on for the final minutes of the first half, Beytell poked the ball upfield, collected it neatly and scored his second try of the match. With the conversion Falcons took the lead, 17-12.
The celebrations were short-lived as Limpopo hit back. Again Kachelhoffer showed that he was up for a challenge as he went down for his second try. Score was level at 17-17 with 60 seconds left on the first half.
Before the half time break Limpopo had a perfect opportunity to shift the lead. But an unsuccessful penalty-kick ensured that the score remained at 17-17.
Limpopo drew first blood in second half, Malatjie planting the ball behind the try-line. This time he kept his body low and feet inside the field, as he made sure there was no doubt. 22-17. Making up for his first half penalty kick Kachelhoffer slotted over his second successful kick. 24-14 with five minutes gone of the second half.
On 45 minutes Falcons scored two unanswered tries within two minutes. Donovan Strydom and Andries putting their names on the score sheet.
The first try came from a line-out, Donovan Strydom the man going down at the back of the maul. While the second try came from a kick and chase by Lee-Irwin Andries. Smuts converted the easy kick. 29-24.
Before Limpopo could catch their breath, Falcons were again on the hunt to extend the lead. And a Martin Steyn try on 50 minutes made sure of that.
In a match where Limpopo needed some good karma on their side, their second try not rewarded. All their hard work was brought to nothing by a foot on the touch-line, again.
Frustrattion started to made its presents felt. Limpopo gave away easy penalty inside their 5 metre, which resulted in Smuts try. From a line-out and some neatly interchanging passes between Beytell and Smuts, they punished the Limpopo side. 43-24 on 60 minutes.
With five minutes to go Limpopo could not handle the Falcons' onslaught. And in the dying minutes they found themselves having to defend in their own half.
To add to the men in blue's dismal second half performance, Strauss was given a yellow card, leaving the team to defend with 14-men as the match head into the last minute.
What started off as a good contest ended up in a one-sided affair Falcons won 43-24.
Tries: Ruben Beytell 2, Donovan Strydom, Lee-Irwin Andries, Martin Steyn, Ginter Smuts
Cons: Ginter Smuts 5
Pen: Ginter Smuts
Tries: Stefan Engelbrecht, Wernich Kachelhoffer 2, Noko Malatjie
Cons: Wernich Kachelhoffer 2
Yellow Card: Chrizaan Strauss for a dangerous tackle on 68 minutes.
Falcons: Marcus Nyirenda, Donovan Strydom, Rehann Baumann, Reinhardt Venter, Francois du Preez, Ruben Beytell, Esihle Mbilini, Rynard Theron, Ginter Smuts, Ruben Roodt, Webster Swanepoel, Dwayne Fourie, Lee-Irwin Andries, Romano Jonkerman,JJ Keyser.
Replacements: Kuhle Malao, Werner Fourie, Andre van der Merwe, Timothy van Diemann, Erzath Boesak,Tumiso Lenake, Martin Steyn.
Limpopo Blue Bulls: Itumeleng Mononyane, Bernard Hardy Vermaak, Barend Lombard, Welmer Pieterse, Matthew Maboe Sekele, Zander Human, Stefan Engelbrecht, Tyron John Thomson, Eduan Smit, Wernich Kachelhoffer, Chrizaan Strauss, Muzi Nyakane, Jan Coertze, Noko Malatjie, Danny Mokhoabane.
Replacements: Jannie Jordaan, Nyiko Given Makamu, Thsepo Junior Masakale, Clifford Maurice Sekgobela, Ruben Koekemoer,Pieter Jacobus Kruger, Stephen Nel, Masedi Tony Manamela.
Referee: Pieter Maritz
Assistant referees: Beattie Blake, Ricus van der Hoven
Television match official: Lourens van der Merwe
Assessor: Thuso Mngqibisa