Boland hit straps to down Eagles

The Boland Cavaliers hit their straps in fine style to down the SWD Eagles 49-24 (halftime 34-10) in an Absa Currie Cup First Division match played at Boland Stadium in Wellington on Friday afternoon.The home side ran in eight tries on a miserably cold and wet day, with the small crowd of 600 diehards cheering loudly from under the safety of the covered main stand as veteran loosehead prop Janro van Niekerk celebrated his 100th cap with a confidence-boosting win.The day itself might have been gloomy but the rugby was anything but, with Boland flanker and man of the match Junior Bester grabbing a hat-trick to cap an industrious day at the office.Bester, who impressed on defence as much as with ball in hand, and his team-mates were helped by the fact that the worst of the rain fell just before the match, although the pre-game downpour nevertheless made for a notoriously heavy Boland Stadium field and a resultant arm-wrestle among the forwards.

Bester was joined on the scoreboard by four other team-mates, with fullback Willie le Roux grabbing a brace and perhaps the loudest cheer of all being reserved for skipper Bolla Conradie, who danced over in the 50th minute to put the result beyond doubt.

Boland’s win was their fourth in five outings, coming on the back of their only loss so far this season, to the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last Friday.

The visitors, who beat the Valke 24-15 at home last weekend, seemed to find the road-trip south too taxing, and were left to rue some squandered chances in suffering their second defeat in five matches.

Things certainly looked rosy for the Eagles when they opened up an early 10-3 lead, thanks to a fourth-minute penalty from fullback Elric van Vuuren and a 14th-minute try to right wing Howard Noble, converted by Van Vuuren.

The try came from a Boland mistake in the Eagles’ 22, with Noble on hand to finish off a long-range counter-attack.

But the Cavaliers then embarked on a point-scoring spree that saw them notch four tries before the break to open up a 24-point lead.

The Eagles were only able to claw their way back into the match when centre Jeff Taljard went over in the 43rd minute for the first of his two tries, but by that time the damage had already been done.

Conradie extended the lead once again but Taljard, who never gave up and who enjoyed a good midfield battle against opposite number Braam Gerber and impressive Boland outside centre Jonathan Francke, scored again in the 52nd minute to make it 39-24.

But that proved to be the visitors’ final flurry for the evening, and it was left to Bester and Le Roux to add to their personal tallies as the score finished one point shy of what would have been a thoroughly deserved half-century haul.


Boland 49– Tries: Junior Bester (3), Cornal Hendricks, Zandre Jordaan, Willie le Roux (2), Bolla Conradie. Conversions: Elgar Watts (3). Penalty: Watts.

SWD 24 – Tries: Howard Noble, Jeff Taljard (2). Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3). Penalties: Van Vuuren (1).

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