Grey College laid down an early marker with a resounding win over Welkom Gim on Saturday.
From the outset Grey looked formidable as they do every season, the game started off with a Grey error which lead to a Welkom Gim scrum. Grey’s powerful scrum dominated from the outset and a penalty was awarded.
Immediately Grey’s captain Vumazonke instructed pivot Smith to kick for the corner. A line out was taken and rolling maul that went virtually unchallenged ensued leading to a try by star hooker Ricardo Fourie in only the 2nd minute of the match. Smith the son of former Bok Franco Smith and brother of Franco Junior a star of the unbeaten 2018 team converted the try.
After a period of sustained pressure Grey finally broke through the Welkom Gim defence with a try by prop Juann Else just before the 10 minute period, Smith converted without issue.
Scrummie Tiaan Fourie then pounced on a Welkom Gim mistake in the 14th minute and showed great pace to go in for a try, Smith once again converted.
Great work by Else at the breakdown in the 19th minute led to a penalty being awarded to Grey, a bit of back chatting from the Gim players resulted in the penalty being bought forward by another 10 meters. Vumazonke instructed Smith to have a shot at goal who easily converted, 24 – 0 to Grey with 20 minutes played.
Immediately after kick off Grey were at it again! The ball was received by flanker Deon le Roux who brushed off a defender before going to ground setting up the next phase, Sokoyi received the ball lying deep and gave a crisp and clean pass to center Gert Steyn who drew in a defender before passing to speedster Joubert Schoeman who went in under the posts. Smith converted making it 31 – 0 after 22 minutes of play.
Grey would not let up and after even more pressure won a penalty on the Welkom Gim 5 meter line, a tap was taken by prop Else who set up the next phase of play. Fourie then passed to Smith who cut inside and over for his first try of the match. Smith then converted his own try 38 – 0 after 27 minutes.
Welkom Gim finally managed to get points on the board just before half-time when star 8th man Keke Morabe crashed over from close range which was converted by pivot Benedict Human.
Half-Time score: Grey College 38 Welkom Gimnasium 7
In the 7th minute of the second half Gim were awarded a scrum, although on the back foot they managed to get the ball out with Morabe breaking off the back of the scrum. Calla Pienaar then managed to break through a tackle setting up a new phase with scrumhalf Weideman quickly passing the ball to fantastic center Testimony Dodo who popped the ball over to Benedict Human who then crossed over the whitewash and converted his try to make it 38 – 14, game on!
Grey struck back on the 10 minute mark after a chip by Smith was collected by Emile Kotze who then passed the ball on to Pascal Ekeji who beat two defenders before offloading to Steyn who went over in the corner, Smith converted to take it to 45 – 14.
After 14 minutes in the second half Welkom Gim were awarded a scrum deep inside the Grey half. Morabe broke off the back of the scrum and launched himself toward the Grey line before offloading to Testimony Dodo who went in under the posts providing an easy conversion for Human which made the score 45 – 21.
Under pressure on their 10 meters line the ball was quickly passed to Human who tried to relieve the pressure by kicking toward touch but did not find it. Instead he found the last thing he would have been looking for, NGR’s number 2 prospect for the year – Franco Knoetze. In what has become a trademark of the flyer he passed virtually the entire Welkom Gim line and went in under the posts for his first try of the season, the first of what will likely be many! Smith easily converted making it 52 – 21. It was at this stage coach Wessel du Plessis started bringing on his subs.
After a period of back and forth play the Welkom Gim team were on the attack on the Grey College 22, before a handling error led to substitute scrum-half JD Olivier snatching the ball away and popping it up again to that man Knoetze who ran the length of the field to score under the posts with Smith easily converting making it 59 – 21.
Another quick try by Steyn was followed by a try by Keke Morabe against the run of play which was converted by Human making the score 64 – 28.
A well placed chip kick by Olivier was chased well by the Grey College boys and was finally picked up by Emile Kotze in the corner which gave Smith a difficult conversion. Unluckily it was missed by Smith who hit the posts, 69 – 28 to Grey College.
Welkom Gim managed a consolation try in the final minute of play – final score 69 – 33 to Grey College.
15) Nabo Sakoyi 14) Joubert Schoeman 13) Gert Steyn 12) Emile Kotze 11) Franco Knoetze 10) Jean Smith 9) Tiaan Fourie 8) Sisonke Vumazonke (c) 7) Deon le Roux 6) Duan Ludik 5) Hendre Kramer 4) Danie Louw 3) Tielman Nieuwoudt 2) Ricardo Fourie 1) Juann Else
15) Donovan Don 14) Morne Maastriet 13) Keno Alexander 12) Testimony Dodo 11) Angelo Oliver 10) Benedict Human 9) Marco Weideman 8) Keke Morabe 7) Calla Pienaar 6) Mingo Piti 5) Wian Muller 4) Jarred Kruger 3) Franco Ceaser 2) Dylan Pretorius 1) Vuyo Holiday
Watch the full game here: https://digitv.co.za/#/video/28518/29216/Vod