Flyhalf Elgar Watts scored 23 points as the Boland Cavaliers finished top of the Absa Currie Cup First Division thanks to a 53-24 (halftime 22-17) victory over the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
For 50 or so minutes the Eagles stayed in touch with the red-hot Cavaliers, who are enjoying a purple patch following their massive win over the EP Kings last week.
But the Bolanders’ slow poison took effect with half an hour to go, and in the end the visitors ran out comfortable winners.
In a see-sawing first half that produced five tries, it was the enterprising home side who opened the scoring through skipper and flanker Wilhelm Koch in the seventh minute.
Electing to set up a lineout from a kickable penalty, the Eagles won the ball and set up a maul. Koch was on hand to take it further, bumping off two would-be defenders before corkscrewing his way over the line.
Fullback Elric van Vuuren kicked the conversion to give his team a 7-0 lead, but it was the Cavaliers, needing to win the match to top the First Division log, who struck back with 10 unanswered points.
Flyhalf Watts kicked a 15th-minute penalty before fullback Willie le Roux scored the first of two tries in the half when he profited from a good break by centre Cornal Hendricks.
The Eagles, lying fourth going into the match, responded with a try at the posts by eighthman Braam Immelman after excellent passing from tight forwards Brood van der Westhuizen, Giant Mtyanda and Dean Hopp, the tighthead giving his fellow forward the scoring pass.
The Cavaliers struck back from the restart, hooker Ashton Constant flopping over from a driving maul before Le Roux got his second on the half hour following aWattsbreak down the left-hand side.
Replacement Eagles back Deroy Rhoode kicked an injury-time penalty to leave the home side trailing by only five points at the break, but it was the Cavaliers who struck first after the interval through eighthman Zandré Jordaan.
Jordaan’s score, the result of a good build-up by the forwards in the 53rd minute, gave the visitors the bonus point and ensured they drew level pegging with the EP Kings at the top of the log with 42 points each.
The Cavaliers however weren’t content to fall back on points difference to give them first position and continued to pile on the pressure,Wattsgoing over for his team’s fifth try on the hour to effectively end the contest.
A defensive lapse from a five-metre scrum gave the Eagles a sniff with 15 minutes left, scrumhalf Mzo Dyantyi scooting through unopposed after Koch had picked up and feigned a back-row move before passing to his halfback.
Watts however kicked a penalty soon after to keep the Eagles 15 points adrift, before former Springbok Sevens flyer Danwel Demas, who scored four tries last week against the Kings, rubbed salt into the wounds with a breakaway three minutes from time.
Replacement Bolla Conradie then got a seventh to bring up the half-century.
Eagles 24 – Tries: Wilhelm Koch, Braam Immelman, Mzo Dyantyi. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (2), Deroy Rhoode. Penalty: Rhoode.
Cavaliers 53 – Tries: Willie le Roux (2), Ashton Constant, Zandré Jordaan, Elgar Watts, Danwel Demas, Bolla Conradie. Conversions:Watts(6). Penalties:Watts(2).