Durban - Christian Rust ran in a brace of tries as the Valke turned in a dominant performance on their way to a 26-10 (half-time 12-3) win over the Sharks XV in their Currie Cup Qualifier match at Kings Park in on Friday.
According to SuperSport, fullback Rust scored both his tries in the first half as the Valke completed a well-deserved win, just their fourth of the season, as they ran in four tries to two to upset their more fancied opponents on their way to a bonus-point victory
The Valke had almost all the ball and dominated territory in the first 20 minutes but they initially failed to capitalise on their dominance as they were held out by some stout defence from the hosts, although the visitors did turn down two kickable penalties during the first quarter.
But the Valke finally broke the deadlock after they took the ball through nine phases before pivot Warren Potgieter put in a deft cross kick with fullback Christian Rust on hand to collect the ball before scoring a converted try.
The Sharks XV struck back through a 25th-minute penalty from flyhalf Innocent Radebe but they were battling to find any rhythm with the Valke intent on playing a high-tempo, ball in hand approach.
But despite the Valke’s almost complete control of the match they battled to breach the Sharks XV’s defence.
But, on the stroke of halftime, Sharks XV lock Dave McDuling was yellow-carded for sacking a maul and the Valke took almost immediate advantage as they took the ball through eight phases before Rust was on hand to finish off the move with a try in the left-hand corner.
Potgieter missed the conversion attempt as the visitors went to the break leading 12-3.
The start of the second half produced much of the same with the Valke dominating territory and possession with the Sharks XV putting together some tigerish defence.
The Sharks XV, as the match entered the final quarter, began to hold onto the ball a bit more and they produced a few forays into the Valke’s half.
The home team finally broke through when hooker Stephen Coetzee barrelled his way over from close range in the 67th minute with Radebe slotting the difficult conversion kick from the right-hand touchline to narrow the gap to just two points to set up a tense finish.
With less than five minutes left in the match the Valke turned down a very kickable penalty in favour of setting up an attacking lineout and they were justly rewarded when hooker Dean Muir was mauled over for a converted try with three minutes left in the contest.
The impressive Valke eighthman Thabo Mamojele then completed the fine win when he burst free from 40 metres out before crashing over between the posts for another converted try.
Sharks XV – Try: Stephan Coetzee; Conversion: Innocent Radebe; Penalty: Radebe
Valke – Tries: Christian Rust (2), Dean Muir, Thabo Mamojele; Conversions: Warren Potgieter (3)
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