Boland clip Valke's wings
A brace of tries either side of halftime effectively ended the Valke’s chances of securing promotion to the Currie Cup Premier Division after they suffered a 35-20 defeat (halftime 20-3) at the hands of the Regent Boland Cavaliers in an Absa Currie Cup qualifying match at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
The score line flattered the home side somewhat as Jaun Kotze scored and converted a try after the final hooter had sounded. The Valke fullback had a decent afternoon scoring 15 of his side’s 20 points with a try, two conversions and two penalties.
But it was the visitors who made most of their opportunities count through first-half tries by both their wingers, Duwayne Smart and Nathaniel Manuel, as the Cavaliers went into the halftime break with a 17-point lead after conceding an early penalty.
The Valke dominated the first 10 minutes of each half but were unable to make their dominance count with some resolute Boland defences.
Kotze opened the scoring after eight minutes when Boland were pinged by referee Pro Legoete for not supporting their own weight at the ruck. But as soon as the Cavaliers entered the Valke 22 just three minutes later, some quick hands from outside centre Richard Lawson sent right wing Smart through to dot down in the corner.
Morne Hugo, who also scored 15 points in the match, missed an opportunity to extend the visitors’ lead when he missed a relatively easy penalty just minutes after slotting a difficult conversion.
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Boland then sealed an excellent first-half performance with a try from Manuel while Hugo converted, slotted a drop goal and brought the first half to a close with a penalty.
The second stanza began just as the first one had, with the home team dominating. This time the Valke made more of their opportunities as right wing Coert Cronje rounded off a good move by the Valke backline by chipping, chasing and gathering to score under the posts just three minutes after the restart.
Kotze converted the try to bring the hosts to within 10 points of their visitors but besides a penalty from the Valke fullback, Boland remained composed with a brace of tries from substitute hooker, Ryno Coetzee.
Coetzee replaced Clemen Lewis at halftime as Lewis was struggling with his lineouts. Both Coetzee’s tries came from powerful rolling mauls as the hooker controlled the ball and broke away from the rear to barge his way over.
The visitors were looking to close out the game 35-13 when Hugo slotted his second penalty with just one minute remaining in the game, but the Valke never gave up after the final hooter when Kotze jinxed his way through the Boland defence, twice, to dot down under the poles for a consolation try.
Valke – Tries: Coert Cronje, Jaun Kotze; Conversions: Kotze (2); Penalties: Kotze (2).
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Ryno Coetzee (2), Duwayne Smart, Nathaniel Manuel; Conversions: Morne Hugo (3); Penalties: Hugo (2); Drop-goal: Hugo.