Valke bash Border in fine style
The Valke produced a fine performance to bash the Border Bulldogs 43-15 (half-time 17-8) in their Vodacom Cup match at the BCM Stadium in East London on Friday night.
The home side may be bemoaning a 70-minute delay to the start of the game due to floodlight failure, but the disruption did not seem to affect the Valke, who made a rapid start with two tries in the first eight minutes.
The visitors, who had pace and skill aplenty in their backline, ran from the kickoff and centre Coert Cronje, who had a fine game, rounded off the attack for a try in the first minute.
The sloppy tackling of the Bulldogs, which would be a feature of their defeat, was once again apparent seven minutes later when flank Warren Perkins, who popped up everywhere in a livewire display, was on hand to put the finishing touches to another beautiful attacking move by the Valke.
Border did bring themselves back into contention with a 14th-minute try by hooker Matthew Taljaard, but they never really bloomed thanks to a disjointed performance on attack which saw them huff and puff but certainly not do any blowing away.
The Valke could add only one more try before half-time, through lock Chris Ehlers, converted by fullback Kyle Hendricks, but their second half was a thing of beauty as they exacted a heavy toll on the hapless Bulldogs.
Hendricks, who was an extreme threat throughout, stretched the visitors' lead to 24-8 by converting his own excellent try in the 47th minute and Border were out for the count by the hour mark when scrumhalf Willie Odendaal scampered over to make it 29-8.
There was a flurry of scoring in the last five minutes with flank Reg Muller and eighthman Marco Kotze crossing for tries for the Valke, both converted by Hendricks, while there would also be a consolation try for Bulldogs loose forward Onke Dumase. Centre Byron McGuigan added the conversion to go with an earlier penalty he kicked.
Valke captain and hooker Shone van der Walt led from the front with a fine performance and was always quick to get involved in the forward exchanges. He will also be very relieved to have ended his team's four-match losing streak.
Border Bulldogs - Tries: Matthew Taljaard, Onke Dumase. Conversion: Byron McGuigan. Penalty: McGuigan.
Valke - Tries: Coert Cronje, Warren Perkins, Chris Ehlers, Kyle Hendricks, Willie Odendaal, Reg Muller, Marco Kotze. Conversions: Hendricks (4).