It was a well contested first half that saw some very loose play from both teams, with a slew of turn overs and some exciting running from broken play leading to tries.
The Windhoek Draught Welwitschias got off to the perfect start as they reclaimed the ball from the kick off, and on attack in the Down Touch Griffons half received a penalty advantage, which allowed their flyhalf, Cliven Loubser, to send a cross kick to the right where Johan Tromp (wing) caught it, stepped inside two defenders and went over to score. Loubser added the extras for an early seven point lead after just two minutes.
The Down Touch Griffons then hit back and over a 20 minute period looked like they were going to run away with the match. First the Northern Free Staters' left wing, Allistair Mumba, started a counter attack from his own half before spreading the ball with Ezrick Alexander (right wing) receiving the final pass to sprint away and score to the right of the posts. Jaywinn Juries (scrumhalf) missed the kick leaving them 7-5 down after six minutes.
Five minutes later the Welkom team hit the front as from a breathless period of play saw the ball go from coast to coast before their fullback, Domenic Smit, glided over untouched, with Juries' extras putting them 12-7 up.
The Down Touch Griffons now had their tails up and from more broken play extended their lead, with some great offloads ending with Jean Pretorius (No 8) diving over for a converted score in the 16th minute. They thought they had scored the bonus point try through Mumba in the 20th minute, but the try was disallowed and play brought back after the TMO spotted an earlier knock on.
This allowed the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias to fight their way back into the match as first Juries was punished in the 28th minute, trying to keep the ball in play near his own 22m, throwing a no look pass which AJ de Klerk (prop) intercepted and powered away, bumping off Smit and scoring in the left hand corner. Loubser's good conversion made it 19-14.
With a minute to go in the half Loubser then slotted an easy penalty goal as the visitors went into the break trailing by two, 19-17.
The second half then started much like the first, with the Namibians' good play rewarded as they set a maul from a line out in the Down Touch Griffons 22m, rumbling it over with hooker Louis van der Westhuizen dotting down and Loubser converting from touch to retake the lead 24-19.
That however proved to be the visitors' last points as the South Africans retook control of the game and squeezed the life out of the challengers.
They got back in front from a line-out in the 55th minute, as the ball was put through the hands with Niell Stannard (outside centre) powering over to score, as Juries extras inched them ahead 26-24. Five minutes later Down Touch Griffons flyhalf and captain, Duan Pretorius, crashed over from close range, but missed his own conversion to move seven points ahead.
Both teams then had chances in the final 20 minutes but the final points went to a 79th minute penalty to Danrich Visagie who sealed the win for the Down Touch Griffons.
Down Touch Griffons - Tries: Ezrick Alexander, Domenic Smit, Jean Pretorius, Niell Stannard, Duan Pretorius. Conversions: Jaywinn Juries (3). Penalty goal: Danrich Visagie.
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias - Tries: Johannes Tromp, AJ de Klerk, Louis van der Westhuizen. Conversions: Cliven Loubser (3). Penalty goal: Loubser.