Kingpin Kotze gives Valke big win
Juan Kotze scored 22 points through a try, four conversions and three penalties as the Valke thumped the South Western District Eagles 52-34 (halftime 25-15) in an Absa Currie Cup qualifier at the Outeniqua Stadium in George on Friday.
Some 1 200 fans braved the cold South Coast weather to cheer on their team that had defeated the Down Touch Griffons a week earlier, and were soon on their feet cheering as left wing Alshaun Bock went over for the first converted try of the match after just six minutes.
The match was a tight affair until the final quarter with just three points separating the teams. But two tries by lock Shane Kirkwood and Kotze in as many minutes, coupled with a yellow card to the Eagles’ fullback, Elric Van Vuuren, turned the game on its head.
The visitors ran in four tries in the final 20 minutes against a solitary five-pointer for the home side which gave the Valke their first log points in their quest for Premiership status.
After conceding the early try, the Valke raced into a 17-7 lead after 24 minutes with two tries from left wing Riaan Arends and another from flanker JP Mostert while Kotze knocked over two conversions and two penalties.
Despite a try from right wing Anver Venter and a penalty from flyhalf Karlo Aspeling, the hosts trailed by 10 points at the break.
A strong start to the second half brought the home side right back into contention as a converted Dwayne Kelly try reduced the deficit to just three points shortly after the restart.
Outside centre Mthangala Skosana broke beautifully to score a wonderful try for the hosts 10 minutes later to take the lead, with Aspeling extending the lead to four points by adding the conversion.
But then the SWD wheels came off as the visitors took control and never looked back. The full-house of log points for the Valke sees them move above the Eagles into fourth position on points difference and a game in hand, while the men from George drop to fifth in the standings.
Both teams face winless opposition next week as the Eagles travel to Wellington to take on Boland while the Valke host Border at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Anver Venter, Dwayne Kelly, Mthangala Skosana, Mzwanele Zito; Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (3); Penalties: Aspeling.
Valke – Tries: Riaan Arends (2), JP Mostert, Shane Kirkwood, Juan Kotze, Anrich Richter, Marlyn Williams; Conversions: Kotze (4); Penalties: Kotze (3).