Griffons overpower Valke
August 12, 2016

The Down Touch Griffons started their campaign in this year’s Currie Cup First Division with an impressive seven try victory of 50-27 (halftime 22-22) over the Valke in the HT Pelatona Projects stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.

A brace of tries by Griffons winger Vuyo Mboto in the second half for his hat trick, as well as the kicking boot of fly half George Whitehead helped down a Valke side who was still very much in contention going into the second half.

Mboto’s hat trick places him at the top of the try scorers in competition thus far, whilst he also joins Whitehead as joint top points scorer on 15 points. Whitehead seems set to continue the good form he showed to end the Provincial Tournament as the top points scorer.

The Valke started the first half the better of the two sides, with winger Ettiene Taljaard scoring just a minute after the kick off as he caught the Griffons napping. The conversion by fly half Karlo Aspeling meant a very early lead of 7-0 for the visitors, but that was to change hands a couple of times before half time.

Mboto scored next, with Taljaard claiming his second of the afternoon shortly thereafter, as Whitehead and Aspeling took turns to help tick over the scoreboard with their kicking boots. Winger Charles Mayeza dotted down for the Valke, as hooker Elandre Huggett and flanker Martin Sithole helped the Griffons level the scores before the break.

The Valke seemed restless as they came out for the second half and what followed was pure dominance by the Griffons for the next 35 minutes. It started as early as the 47th minute as replacement hooker Khwezi Mkhafu burst over for the hosts bonus point try.

Mboto followed shortly thereafter to score his second five pointer of the afternoon, with Whitehead converting what would be one of six conversions on the day following a penalty earlier in the first half.

Both the Griffons and Valke rung the changes in the last 20 minutes in the hope that it would have an impact tactically, but this didn’t hamper the hosts form. Fulll back Selvyn Davids got into the points in the 63rd minute as the Valke seemed out on their feet when it came to defence.

Replacement loose forward Marlyn Williams scored a try five minutes from full time for the visitors, but it was to be the Valke’s only points in a difficult second half that deservingly saw Mboto complete his hat trick for the Griffons just before the final whistle.