Fullback Cameron Hufke scored a hat-trick of tries as the Boland Kavaliers clipped the high-flying Valke’s wings in Saturday’s Currie Cup First Division Final in Wellington, claiming a 43-21 win to secure the silverware for the first time since 2011.
Starting fast and defending heroically, the hosts outscored the newly-crowned Mzansi Challenge champions by five tries to three to deny them a historic double and soar to First Division glory, taking the title for the first time in 12 years after they beat Eastern Province in Wellington.
Franzel September’s side came out firing and spread the ball early, finding plenty of space and holes in the visitors’ defence in perfect conditions to race into a 15-0 lead. They were more clinical early on, bossed the breakdown, dominated at scrum time and put in some massive hits on defence.
The Valke, though, didn’t lay down and while Boland kept the scoreboard ticking, they were reduced to 14 men for reaped infringements in the dying moments of the first half, which saw the visitors score a second try to trail 28-14 at the break.
In the end, the East Randers threw everything at the hosts, whose collective defensive display was simply superb. Hufke’s hat-trick try, somewhat against the run of play, proved to be a crushing blow and the fullback capped off a phenomenal performance with a late long-range penalty goal as the Kavaliers were crowned champions.
Boland Kavaliers 43 (28) – Tries: Cameron Hufke (3), Keenan Opperman, Bentley Geldenhuys. Conversions: Darian Hock (3). Penalty goals: Hock (3), Hufke.
Valke 21 (14) – Tries: Musa Tshabalala, Easton Arendse, Cohen Kiewit. Conversions: Keagan Fortune (3)