Van Velze grabs a hat-trick as Wanderers win against Newcastle

AT THE TREBLE - GJ van Velze
AT THE TREBLE - GJ van Velze
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GJ van Velze was the hat-trick hero as the Wanderers walloped Newcastle Falcons 29-5 in the A League meeting at Franklin’s Gardens on Monday night.

The South African No.8 went over twice in the first half and completed his treble early in the second to secure a comprehensive success for the home side.

Tom Collins also registered twice, showing his immense speed on both occasions, and Kiwi kicker Glenn Dickson added four points with the boot.

And there was more good news as centre Dom Waldouck played 46 minutes in his first appearance since sustaining a hamstring injury in March.

It was to be a comfortable evening for Waldouck and Co as Newcastle struggled to compete with their hosts.

The game’s tone was set in the opening exchange as Newcastle knocked on from the kick-off and the Wanderers immediately turned up the heat.

After a succession of mauls towards the Falcons line, it was van Velze who burrowed over in the corner to put the home side ahead after just five minutes.

Dickson hit the post with the conversion before some determined defending ensured there wasn’t an immediate riposte from the visitors.

It didn’t take long for the Wanderers to get back on the front foot and van Velze got his second of the night on 24 minutes, finishing off some patient approach play.

This time, Dickson added the extras and his side were cruising to another A League victory, with the likes of Teimana Harrison and Mike Haywood carrying them over the gain line.

If the first half had been high on endeavour but low on entertainment, the second was a completely different proposition as the Wanderers flew out of the blocks.

Van Velze found a great line to complete his hat-trick, Dickson converting, before Collins flew past four players to score a superb individual try.

Newcastle replied to make it three scores inside the first five second-half minutes, as centre Chris Harris went over, but the Wanderers were still cruising on the scoreboard at 24-5 up.

Collins then got his second try of the night, picking up a misplaced Falcons pass in midfield and racing home from halfway to score.

The Wanderers then saw it out as a raft of replacements were given some game time in what was to be the third success in as many A League games this season.

Wanderers: Artemyev (Packman 60); Collins, Stephenson, Waldouck (Olver 46), Diggin; G Dickson, Glynn (A Day 47); E Waller (Warren 47), Haywood (McMillan 40), Denman (Ma’afu 40), Verbakel, Woolford, Nutley (Harry 66), Harrison (Williams 54), van Velze.

Newcastle: Bailey; Brown, Harris, Crockett, Higgins; Willis, Pilgrim; Strain, Nelson, Brookes, Tomes, Witty, McKenzie, Temm, Collins.

Replacements: McGuigan, Hallam, Davison, Hedley, Hodgson, Burn, Bragman, Cairns.

Referee: Nick Cockburn

Attendance: 863