Griffons too good for the Valke
April 27, 2016

The Down Touch Griffons are building momentum in the new provincial tournament, claiming their second successive win by beating the Hino Valke 49-26 (halftime 27-14) in the Barnard stadium in Kempton Park on Wednesday afternoon.

After beating the Leopards convincingly two weeks ago, the Purple People Eaters used that momentum as well as a bye last week for another impressive bonus point victory. The Valke on the other hand now have lost three games in four outings and will have to go back to the drawing board looking ahead to the next couple of weeks.

The Griffons had the best start imaginable to the game as good pressure applied resulted in winger Selvyn Davids running around the Valke defence as early as the second minute to cross over.

The Valke regrouped and put together some useful attacks and it paid dividends as they took the lead via lock Shane Kirkwood’s try in the 10th minute. A scrum on the Griffons goal line lead to the big lock forward’s five pointer as the Valke turned over possession and Kirkwood scored from five metres out. Fly half Karlo Aspeling converted to give the hosts a slender 7-5 lead.

The Griffons looked the better side on the attack and made better use of their opportunities. In the 18th minute the Welkom based side scored their second try of the afternoon as winger Warren Williams helped retake the lead by bursting over in the corner.

The Valke made unforced errors that snubbed them of points on numerous occasions. In turn the Griffons attacked from nearly everywhere on the field, even taking a quick tap from penalties in stead of kicking out. On one such occasion prop Danie van der Merwe broke away and put centre Duan Pretorius into space for the Griffons to score their third try of the afternoon.

The Valke remained within striking distance with a try awarded to eighth man Reg Muller in the 30th minute after he initially came up short moments before. It was refered by referee Lourens van der Merwe to the television match official, who ruled a double movement. Advantage to the Valke meant a penalty and from the resulting line out Muller barged over with most of his teammates part of the rolling maul.

The last ten minutes in the first half became a little sloppy on both sides. The Griffons did manage to stretch their lead as captain Gavin Annandale put in a clever little box kick and Williams collected to round of what was to be his second try of the afternoon and a bonus point for the visitors. A penalty seconds before the break by George Whitehead, who didn’t have the best day with the kicking boot, helped the Griffons to a halftime lead of 27-14.

Williams retained his good form of the first half and opened the scoring for the Griffons in the second half as he completed his hat-trick two minutes after the kick off. Whitehead converted to stretch the gap to 20 points. Unforced errors again cost the Valke and turnover possession meant points for the hosts. Replacement forward De Wet Kruger scored for the Griffons, as did the full back Tertius Maarman to put the game beyond the Valke’s reach. Consolation tries by Valke winger Ettienne Taljaard and centre Grant Jancke did little for the hosts morale.


Down Touch Griffons 49 (27) Tries: Selvyn Davids, Warren Williams (3), Duan Pretorius, De Wet Kruger, Tertius Maarman. Conversions: George Whitehead (4). Penalty: George Whitehead (2)

Hino Valke 26 (14): Tries: Shane Kirkwood, Reg Muller, Ettienne Taljaard, Grant Jancke. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2), Damian Engeldoe.