Three tries from eighth-man Nicky Steyn helped the Down Touch Griffons to an emphatic 50-14 (halftime 31-6) win over the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls in their Vodacom Cup opener at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday.
Steyn’s hat-trick was well complemented by five other tries for the visitors, while flyhalf Louis Strydom was able to convert five of his eight chances from the kicking tee.
The home side, who are making their debut in the Vodacom Cup this season, offered just the one try in reply courtesy of tight-head prop Bernard Groenewald, while flyhalf Bronwyn Craill kicked three penalties.
The Griffons were all over the hosts in the early exchanges, and Steyn opened the scoring in just the second minute.
He crashed over the whitewash again five minutes later to grab a brace, and tries from Colin Herbert, Shane Hancke and flanker Martin Sithole took them into the break with a convincing 31-6 advantage.
The visitors struck again after the break, but the Limpopo Blue Bulls gave their home fans something to cheer about when Groenewald capped off a well-worked move in the 55th minute.
However, Steyn wasn’t to be denied, and he sealed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute.
The rout was complete in the final minute of play when substitute Oshwill Nortje scored with one of his first touches of the ball, and the ensuing conversion from Strydom brought up the fifty for his team.
The bonus-point win represents the ideal start for the Griffons, while the men from Polokwane will have it all to do if they are to be competitive this season.
Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Try: Bernard Groenewald. Penalties: Bronwyn Craill (3).
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Nicky Steyn (3), Colin Herbert (2), Shane Hancke, Martin Sithole, Oshwill Nortje. Conversions: Louis Strydom (5).