Elephants hold off Valke
The BA Mighty Elephants held off a valiant Valke team to triumph 36-30 (half-time 24-10) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
While the Elephants outscored their opponents by five tries to three and had surged into a 24-3 lead during the first half the home side battled back during the second stanza of the match.
The Elephants' charge to victory was led by winger Howard Noble who showed good pace to score two long-range tries while eighthman Lubabalo Mzwakali also turned in a barn storming performance which was rewarded with two tries of his own.
The first quarter of the match was scoreless as both sides looked for each others' weakness before Might Elephants fullback Ryan Brown opened the scoring courtesy of a penalty in the 20th minute.
Five minutes later the visitors cut loose with their first try coming courtesy of a fine piece of counter-attacking rugby. Elephants fullback Ryan Brown began the move before passing to flyhalf Jaco van Schalkwyk. Van Schalkwyk made good ground before he flicked the ball back to left wing Noble who cantered over under the sticks with Brown adding the extra two points.
The Elephants extended their lead just two minutes later after a rolling maul saw hooker Herkie Liebenberg crash over the tryline for a converted try.
The home side responded with their first points of the match with a penalty from fullback Tsepo Kokoali before the Mighty Elephants stretched their lead to 24-3 following a converted try from eighthman Lubabalo Mzwakali.
The Valke finally crossed their opposition’s goal line in the dying seconds of the half when flyhalf Jonathan Jacobs dotted down with Kokoali adding the extra two points.
The Valke managed two tries in the second half of the match, through flank Reg Miller and replacement hooker Andries Hefer. However, their brave comeback was halted by a try apiece from Noble and Mzwakali.
Valke – Tries: Jonathan Jacobs, Reg Muller, Andries Hefer. Conversions: Tsepo Kokoali (3). Penalties: Kokoali (2). Drop goal: Jacobs
BA Mighty Elephants – Tries: Howard Noble (2), Lubabalo Mzwakali (2), Herkie Liebenberg. Conversions: Ryan Brown (4). Penalty: Brown.