Griffons clip Eagles wings
August 19, 2016

The Down Touch Griffons overturned a nine-point halftime deficit to secure a 33-27 (halftime 12-21) victory over the SWD Eagles in a Currie Cup First Division encounter at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.

The Eagles scored three tries in the first stanza through Number 8, Christo du Plessis, scrumhalf Johan Steyn and hooker Mark Pretorius while flyhalf Hansie Graaff slotted all three conversions. but the boot of flyhalf George Whitehead kept the Griffons in touch.

The visitors opened the scoring as early as the second minute when Whitehead slotted his first penalty. But the Eagles came surging back from the kickoff and scored with Du Plessis barging his way over the line after the Griffons had failed to claim the kick-off. Whitehead added another penalty shortly thereafter to bring the visitors to within a point before scrumhalf Boela Abrahams slotted a drop-goal to give the Griffons a two-point lead midway through the first half.

The Eagles, though, regained the lead just 10 minutes later when Steyn darted over the line for a converted try. The Griffons then had flanker Vincent Maruping sent to the sin-bin and played the final 10 minutes of the first half with 14 men. The Eagles used their one-man advantage immediately as Pretorius found space and scored the home side's third try of the evening.

Whitehead landed his third penalty shortly before the break to leave the visitors trailing by nine points at the break.

The Griffons came out firing in the second stanza with the return of Maruping and Abrahams darted over for the visitor's first try of the game. With Whitehead converting, the Griffons found themselves just two points adrift. But Graaff pushed the lead out to five points with a penalty just two minutes later before fullback Reinhardt Erwee broke the line and scored a great try.

Prop Daniel van der Merwe then rumbled over the tryline for the Griffons' third try, which Whitehad converted, to give the visitors a nine-point lead with 15 minutes left on the clock. The Eagles then found themselves down to 14 men as right wing Carlo Radebe was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes. Despite being a man down, Graaff added his third penalty to leave the Eagles six points adrift with 10 minutes remaining but the Griffons held on for a vital away win.


SWD Eagles - Tries: Christo du Plessis, Johan Steyn, Mark Pretorius; Conversions: Hansie Graaff (3); Penalties: Graaff (2).

Down Touch Griffons - Tries: Boela Abrahams, Daniel van der Merwe, Reinhardt Erwee; Conversions: George Whitehead (3); Penalties: Whitehead (3); Drop-goal: Abrahams.


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