Blue Bulls pushed hard in their win against the Valke

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls were made to work hard for their 33-26 (14-12) win against the Hino Valke in their Super Sport Rugby Challenge match at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Friday afternoon.

The cold snap that had been hanging over Gauteng over the last few days provided dry albeit frigid conditions in a match that heralded the return of Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard.
Flyhalf Warren Potgieter missed a penalty goal that would have given the Valke an early lead but that honour fell to lock JP Mostert who crossed the chalk in the 10th minute. Potgieter made no mistake with his conversion attempt.
The visitors were dealt a blow in the 21st minute when hooker Alandre van Rooyen was shown a yellow card. Despite being a man down they still managed to string together an attack that saw fullback Duncan Matthews get his name on the scoresheet.
The Blue Bulls tightened their defence and did well to conceed only try to Valke courtesy of hooker Marco Klopper which Potgieter duly converted.
Flank Boom Prinsloo carried on with his impressive try scoring abilities as he dotted down with two minutes left in the first half. Pollard kicked the conversion to give his team a slender 14-12 lead at the break.
The Blue Bulls continued to find their rhythm throughout the match as scrumhalf Andre Warner crossed the whitewash within a minute of the restart while Potgieter pulled back a converted try for the Valke four minutes later.
Wing Kefentse Mahlo proved to be a menace on the left wing as he scored five pointers in the 50th and 67th minute while his opposite number Etienne Taljaard clinched the bonus point try for the Valke.
The last ten minutes saw both teams lose players to ill-discipline with the Valke losing replacement scrumhalf Anrich Richter in the 71st minute to a yellow card while Rossouw was given his marching orders two minutes later.
Both teams tried desperately to score points with time running out but it was not to be as the Blue Bulls held on to win 33-26 against a gutsy Valke.
Hino Valke - Tries: JP Mostert, Marco Klopper, Warren Potgieter, Etienne Taljaard; Cons: Warren Potgieter (3).
Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Duncan Matthews, Boom Prinsloo, Andre Warner, Kefentse Mahlo (2); Cons: Handre Pollard (3), Divan Rossouw.
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