Zimbabwe too strong for Griquas
Zimbabwe too strong for GriquasSHARE
The 50th Craven Week opened with a bang for the lively Zimbabwe side when they beat Griquas 35-17 at the old Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane.
The days started with a gentle mattress of mist lying over the stadium which had cleared to blue sky by the end of the match.
Lihan Pretorius blew the first whistle, Wessel Matthys kicked the first kick-off, Brendon Mutukwa kicked the first penalty goal, Jabulani Mutukwa scored the first try and Mutukwa kicked the first conversion of the first match in the Golden Jubilee of Craven Week.
From a third-minute penalty by elegant fullback Brendon Mutukwa of Peterhouse, Zimbabwe led a much less cohesive Griqua side who struggled through out the match for possession. They lost six of their 10 line-outs, including one five from the Zimbabwean line. They lost a tighthead and were beaten hollow for the loose ball. In fact Zimbabwe would have won by even more had their handling not been poor. In fact they would have scored another try right at the end when Brandon Boshi went over but the pass was forward.
The closes Griquas came to their northern opposition was 6-3 when penalty goal got them to 6-3 after 21 minutes. Dimitrio Tieties goaled the penalty. The strong Noord-Kaap centre was the star of his side with his line breaks and kicking. He teamed up well with strong Luke Mason in the centre.
The first try came on the strong of half-time. At an attacking line-out on their left, Zimbabwe mauled and bashed and then went wide where Jabulani Mutukwa converted from touch to make the score 13-3 at half-time.
Griquas got more ball in the second half and their were good performances by the centres and light-footed fullback Ryan de Wee. The game was even, except that Zimbabwe did the scoring.
The first try of the half was brilliant. From a scrum far from the goal-line on their right, they played 8-9-10 and Rakudzo Gona of St John's in Harare broke clean through. He drew De Wee and gave to Jabulani Mutukwa who scored under the posts.. They scored again two minutes later when Mandivenga sold two dummies and beat two defenders to score a try which he converted. 30-3 after 48 minutes.
Griquas went on the attack and after three penalties close to their line in quick succession Zimbabwe lost Barend Moolman to the sin bin. In his absence Griquas scored their two tries, first by Tieties and then by replacement scrumhalf GM Bruwer. But Zimbabwe finished off the match with a try when Mandivenga broke, drew Kat Mabalang and sent Mutukwa in for his second try, which, oddly, Mandivenga did not convert.
Man of the Match: Brendon Mandivenga
Tries: Mandivenga, Mutukwa 2, Mashaya
Cons: Mandivenga 3
Pens: Mandivenga 3
Tries: Tieties, Bruwer
Cons: Tieties 2
Griqualand West: 15 Ryan de Wee, 14 Leon Becker, 13 Dimitrio Tieties, 12 Luke Mason, 11 Kat Mabaleng, 10 Wentzel Matthys, 9 Saint-Art Pergoa, 8 Jacques van Zyl, 7 Nardus Bosman, 6 BJ Muller, 5 Nico Graaff, 4 Thulani Njenje, 3 Doctor Booysen, 2 Daniel van Zyl, 1 Obakeng Phollholo.
Replacements: 16 Willie van Aswegen, 17 Francois Jacobs, 18 Bradley Leijdekkers, 19 Gerhard Holtzhausen, 20 GM Bruwer, 21 Aldro Heyns, 22 Jacques Nel.
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe: 15 Brendon Mandivenga, 14 Brandon Boshi, 13 Thomas Chadwick, 12 Munyaradzi Mashaya, 11 Jabulani Mutukwa, 10 Rukudzo Gona, 9 Tinashe Gwisai, 7 Nicholas Burnett, 5 Philangezwi Mudambanuki, 6 Barend Moolman (captain), 19 Tinashe Gonese, 4 Tafadzwa Kufazvinei, 3 Tapiwa Muringani, 2 Alexander Zwart, 1 Thabani Mujeni.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Bhasera, 17 Edo Chikwezvero, 18 Glynne Rorke, 8 Ivan Bawden,20 Andrew Dollar, 21 Justin Zietsman, 22 Tawanda Ngosi
Referee: Lihan Pretorius
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni , Local
TMO: Johan Greeff