The Hino Valke pipped the SWD Eagles 34-32 (halftime 24-10) in a Currie Cup First Division match at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
The Valke had Friedle Olivier to thank as the big Number 8 dotted down three times while fullback Coert Cronje, hooker Jan Enslin and scrumhalf Johan Pretorius added another three five-pointers to register five log points, but the Eagles managed two log points themselves as the men from George dotted down four times through replacement forward Andisa Ntsila, left-wing Carlo Radebe, replacement back Hentzwill Pedro and flank Janneman Stander.
The hosts were on the board as early as the third minute when Cronje broke the line to score the opening try for a seven-point lead, with flyhalf Karlo Aspeling converting. His opposite number, Hansie Graaff, failed to open the scoring for the Eagles 10 minutes later by missing a penalty, but Stander made up for the miss by scoring the Eagles’ first try just minutes later, which Graaff converted to level the scores.
Enslin then barged his way over in the corner after Graaff had given the Eagles a three-point lead with a penalty. Olivier rumbled over for his first try of the afternoon to give the hosts a seven-point cushion as Aspeling missed the conversion, but the Valke wrapped up their bonus point on the stroke of halftime as Pretorius crossed the whitewash.
The Eagles came out firing in the second stanza, scoring two converted tries by Ntsila and Pedro, while Graaff added another penalty to the two conversions to give the Eagles a 27-24 lead. But Olivier restored the home side’s advantage with his second try, which Asleping was unable to convert.
Radebe raced down the left-hand touchline to score a wonderful try and hand the lead back to the visitors, but Graaff was unable to convert from the sidelines. The Eagles then suffered a yellow card to replacement prop Nemo Roelofse before Olivier completed his hat-trick and secured the match for the Valke.
Hino Valke – Tries: Friedle Olivier (3), Coert Cronje, Jan Enslin, Johan Pretorius; Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2).
SWD Eagles – Tries: Andisa Ntsila, Carlo Radebe, Hentzwill Pedro, Janneman Stander; Conversions: Hansie Graaff (3); Penalties: Graaff (2).