Valke smash Pumas

A superb performance by scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius spurred the Valke to a commanding win over the Pumas on Friday night.

The Valke scored six tries to one to crush the winless Pumas 36-8 in a hard-fought Absa Currie Cup encounter at @lantic Park.

The Valke led 12-8 at the break.

Pretorius was outstanding as the Valke took home five log points to leap-frog the hapless Lions and now sit in sixth spot on 11 points. Eighth man Michael Vermaak was also brilliant for the visitors.

The opening exchanges were evenly contested and it took all of 18 minutes before the first points were registered. They came the way of the Pumas when flyhalf Pieter Benade slotted a 30m penalty kick.

The next 15 minutes though belong to the visitors as they peppered the home side’s defensive line. The Pumas were forced to tread the off-side line very closely in order to keep the rampant Valke at bay.

But it was not enough as good interplay between backs and forwards and excellent handling skills saw fullback Riaan Viljoen crash over for Louis Strydom to convert after 21 minutes (7-3).

That became 12-3 four minutes later when centre Riaan Hefer barged his way over after another good passage of play by the Vlake.

It was the Pumas though that were dominating in the scrums, but the Valke made great use of the ball they did get. In the first 40 minutes, Pretorius was effervescent, while his opposite number Ashieq Wise was also a thorn in the visitors’ side.

And it was Wise who scored in the shadow of half-time from a ruck in the far corner to reduce the deficit to four points at the interval when it could and probably should have been more.

The Valke scored their third try four minutes after the restart when inside centre Hanno Coetzee finished off a good move for Strydom to convert.

The Valke brought on replacement prop Piet Grobler for Philip Lemmer and that served to neutralise the Pumas scrum advantage from the first half.

The bonus point was secured in the 57th minute when Hefer scored his second after more good build-up play. Replacement wing Yannick Wombo – playing in only his third match for the Valke – scored a long-range try after good work from Coetzee nine minutes from time.

Dewald Senekal on at lock, then put the cherry on top with a try in the final minute.

Scorers:

Pumas - Tries: Ashieq Wise (37th min)
Penalties: Pieter Benade 1 (18th min)

Valke - Tries: Riaan Viljoen (21st min), Riaan Hefer 2 (25th min, 57th min), Hanno Coetzee (44th min), Yannick Wombo (71st min), Dewald Senekal (80th min)
Conversions: Louis Strydom 3 (21st min, 44th min, 71st min)

Teams:

Pumas: 15 Arno Coetzee, 14 Hyron Thyse, 13 Sam Gerber, 12 Hendrik Meyer, 11 Sacha Marot, 10 Pieter Benade, 9 Ashieq Wise; 8 Riaan van der Merwe (captain), 7 Jonathan van der Schyff, 6 Danzel Manuel, 5 Jacques Lombaard, 4 Bokkie Swanepoel, 3 Pierre du Toit, 2 Ashton Constant, 1 Jacques Muller.
Replacements: 16 Frikkie De Jager, 17 Simon-Peter Blakeley, 18 Stephan Gerber, 19 Corne Steenkamp, 20 Neil Cole, 21 Lourens Dunn, 22 Darryl Coeries.

Valke: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sam Willard, 13 Riaan Hefer, 12 Hanno Coetzee, 11 Mpho Matsaung, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Sarel Pretorius; 8 Michael Vermaak, 7 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 6 Piet Krause (captain), 5 Nico Luus, 4 Ryan Strudwick, 3 Philip Lemmer, 2 Frik Venter, 1 Zane Kilian.
Replacements:16 Gavin Whittingham, 17 Piet Grobler, 18 Dewald Senekal, 19 Sean Plaatjies, 20 Morne Adams, 21 Bosman Grobler, 22 Yannick Wombo.

By Andrew Hollely, at @lantic Park in Witbank