Excelsior knocks Valley off its pedestal

Excelsior second five Clem Gasca races away from Valley lock Blake Welsh during the Citizens...
Excelsior second five Clem Gasca races away from Valley lock Blake Welsh during the Citizens Shield game at Centennial Park on Saturday. PHOTO: YAMMIE MCKENZIE PHOTOGRAPHY
Oh how the mighty fall.

After 13 straight wins, Valley came crashing down to earth in the Citizens Shield on Saturday.

In a rematch of last year’s final, Excelsior thumped the defending champions 41-7.

Valley were punched in the mouth early as a well-executed cross kick from Josh Phipps to Josefa Burewa put the big winger in space to score the first of his three tries in the first half.

Blues were in again not long after as Tyron Davies spotted a gap off a scrum and shot through.

The halfback dashed into the Valley 22m then the forwards went to work with Samu Babiau crashing over.

Two more Burewa tries and a penalty from Phipps had Excelsior up 27-0 at the break.

They ran in two more tries before Valley finally got the doughnut off the scoreboard.

With time up, they camped down in Blues’ 22m and eventually replacement winger Hamish Dodds scored.

The Excelsior pack was dominant and the front row led the way with a huge shift at scrum time.

Phipps led the team around the park well and Burewa threatened to break the line every time he touched the ball.

Elsewhere, Athletic Marist got their first win of the season, beating Kurow 36-32.

It was a back-and-forth affair as every time one team scored, the other countered.

No-one will be more pleased than Athies head coach Tim Anderson, who got one over his former side.

In the final game of the round, Maheno secured a 37-26 win over Old Boys.

Veteran halfback Robbie Smith accounted for 22 points by himself in a stellar performance.

Twenty-four first-half points for the green and blacks got them off to a flyer, and the reliable boot of Smith kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second 40.