Arries steers Namibia home
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Namibian fullback Chris Arries scored 17 points as his side beat Griquas 27-10 on day three on Craven Week in Polokwane.
The victory would have been a surprise if you watched only the first eight minutes. But the extent of the victory was astounding. After all the teams each scored two tries. The difference was in Chris Arries's boot. With the boot, the score was 17-0 to Namibia, even though Griquas have an experienced and usually reliable goal-kicker.
Griquas looked bigger and harder than the Namibians. They tackled with meaning and looked impressive when their forwards got on the charge, but their handling was woeful – 10 handling errors in the first half. It had rained and there was some damp on the field which the sun set about mopping up but the moisture seemed not to affect the increasingly lively Namibians.
Griquas were on top and then big Karl Grundling, who had a wonderful match intercepted and charged downfield till Ryan De Wee tackled him. This seemed to inspire confidence in the Namibians, bolstered by two penalty goals by their fullback (usually a flyhalf) Chris Arries. 6-0 after 22 minutes.
Griquas had a chance to score but tapped a penalty under Namibia's posts and were over but lost the ball in trying to ground it, as the TMO confirmed. Instead the Namibians ran out of trouble with Arries and Justin Newman doing most of the running and it was their turn to lose the ball over the line.
Down 6-0, Griquas, Griquas went on phased attack but were held up over the line. From the five-metre scrum they were again held up. At the next five-metre scrum Namibia were freekicked and Griquas tapped but the prop knocked on., Scrum to Namibia, but Griquas won a tighthead and scrumhalf Gideon Bruwer passed to his captain Luke Mason who forced his way over under the posts. There are, it seems, no certainties in sport for the conversion was charged down. 6-5 after 30 minutes.
The score seemed to enthuse the Griquas. Not even a missed penalty dampened their enthusiasm and they bashed at the Namibian line. They went over but, unfortunately for them, a prop was penalised for obstruction.
The half-time score was 6-5.
Arries goaled a third penalty early in the second half and then Dimitrio Tieties broke brilliantly and gave a perfect pass to heavy Aldro Haines who was tackled out at the left corner.
Back came Namibia and again Arries goaled. 12-5 after 51 minutes and when Griquas went offside under their posts Arries made it 15-5 after 57 minutes. in fact in 10 minutes Namibia scored 15 points, the lighter, lightfooted side outplaying their leaden-footed opponents.
A long speculative kick was rolling towards the Griqua line where the defender made a horrible hash of the ball, knocking it backwards twice, the second time over his line where Milaan van Wyk fell on it for Namibia's first try. 20-5 after 64 minutes.
From the kick-off Divan Rossouw broke on a long run and the Namibians ran freely down the left. Griquas were penalised five metres from their line. Namibia tapped and impressive captain Johan Retief forced his way over for a try which Arries converted. 27-5 with three minutes to play.
A long kick gave Namibia a line-out near Namibia's line but they knocked on the pass back and Griquas had a five metre scrum. They heeled quickly and eighthman Gerhard Holtzhausen raced over on the blind side for a try quite some way in. The conversion was missed and the final whistle went.
Man of the Match: Chris Arries with his accurate kicking , his secure fielding, his vision and his grasshopper runs.
Tries: Mason, Holtzhausen
Tries: Van Wyk, Retief
Pens: Arries 5
Griquas: 15 Ryan De Wee, 14 Aldro Igsham Haines, 13 Dimitrio Pieter Tieties, 12 Johannes Petrus Nel, 11 Katlego Mabeleng, 10 Luke John Mason, 9 Gideon Matthys Bruwer, 8 Gerhard Holtzhausen, 7 Jacques Van Zyl, 6 Bernardus Lambertus Bosman, 5 Bradley Ryan Leijdekkers, 4 Thulani Nkosinathi Njenje, 3 Doctor Booysen, 2 Willem Jacobus Van Aswegen, 1 Francois Jacobs.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Willem van Zyl, 17 Obakeng Pholoholo, 18 Jacobus Wynand Human, 19 Ben James Miller, 20 Saint-Art Fuagh Yeren Pergoa, 21 Wenzel Divan Matthys, 22 Leon Becker.
Namibia: 15 Chris Arries, 14 Wilrico Theron, 13 Brendon du Plessis, 12 Justin Newman, 11 Milaan Nicole Tovey van Wyk, 10 PJ Singaram, 9 Dian von Solms, 8 Johannes Adriaan Retief, 7 Freddy Puriza, 6 Karl Grundling, 5 Andre Rossouw Augustyn, 4 Muharua Katjiteko, 3 Thorsten Stahn, 2 Jandre van Wyk, 1 Jason Benade.
Replacements: 16 Desmond Stramis, 17 Jakob Johannes Breedt, 18 Conraad Willemse, 19 Adriaan Booysen, 20 Stefan Potgieter, 21 Eugene Joubert, 22 Shareave Titus.