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Kempton Park – Nico Engelbrecht scored a brace of tries as the Valke battled to a 27-22 (half-time 14-17) victory over the Golden Lions in their Vodacom Cup match at Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Friday.
Loosehead prop Engelbrecht dotted down twice in the first half as the Valke pulled off the win despite being outscored four tries to three by their opponents.
The match was notable for an unusual occurrence when the game was suspended for 10 minutes, after 35 minutes of the first half, because of lightning with the match officials erring on the side of caution in halting play until the danger passed.
The conditions resulted in a scrappy half but it was the hosts that struck first after a fluffed clearance from Golden Lions' left wing Leroy Africa saw Engelbrecht rumbling over for a converted try in the ninth minute.
The Golden Lions worked their way back into the contest and, in the 21st minute, tighhead prop Van Zyl Botha muscled his way over for a converted try.
The visitors took the lead six minutes to go in the half when they opted to turn down a kickable penalty in favour of kicking to the corner and loosehead prop Henri Boshoff was mauled over for an unconverted try.
Play was suspended shortly after the try was scored but the Valke seemed unfazed by the break in play as they scored almost immediately after the resumption when a left-hand touchline attack saw flank Marco van Eeden off-load to Engelbrecht who showed a good turn of pace to go over in the corner for a converted try.
However, the Golden Lions had the final say in the half when they took a quick tap penalty five metres from the Valke line which resulted in flank Willie Newman sliding over for an unconverted try as the visitors went to the break holding a three-point lead.
The Valke scored just two minutes after the restart when fullback Kyle Hendricks chased through a kick ahead from former Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe to dive on the ball for a converted try.
The Lions regained the lead in the 56th minute when flyhalf Ashlon Davids went over for an unconverted try but it was the Valke who finally gained the upper-hand with two penalties from replacement flyhalf Jaun Kotze in the last quarter.
Scorers Valke - Tries: Nico Engelbrecht (2), Kyle Hendricks; Conversions:
Wesley Roberts (3); Penalties: Jaun Kotze (2).
Golden Lions - Tries: Van Zyl Botha, Henri Boshoff, Willie Newman, Ashlon Davids; Conversion: Hanco Deale. – Sapa