Alshaun Bock scored his 11th try of the season to set the SWD Eagles on their way to a narrow 30-25 (16-15) Absa Currie Cup First Division victory over the Down Touch Griffons at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
The plucky winger crossed for one of three tries for the hosts, who outscored their opponents 3-1 – Grant Kemp and Kabamba Floors also going over the whitewash on a warm evening in the famous Western Cape town.
The Griffons were kept in the game mainly through the boot of their outstanding flyhalf Louis Strydom after he himself landed 20 points.
His efforts ensured the visitors did manage to move off the foot of the table thanks to the bonus point they collected for losing by less than seven points.
The hosts, meanwhile, climbed to third, although both can be overtaken by the Border Bulldogs and Leopards respectively with the pair having a game in hand.
In a clash of tight margins, Strydom may have been ruing his only miss of the night when he sent a second minute penalty just wide, before Eagles number 10 Martin du Toit broke the deadlock with a three-pointer of his own four minutes later.
Strydom drew the Griffons later after nine minutes, but Bock then raced over to extend his season tally at the summit of the First Division try scorers.
The two flyhalves exchanged further penalties inside the opening quarter, before three more from Strydom helped the visitors to take the lead for the first time after 32 minutes.
The last of his kicks came as a result of a yellow card for Kemp.
That gave the Griffons the advantage, but the sin-binning of Aubrey McDonald brought it back to 14 versus 14 and Du Toit pounced on the error before the interval to give his team a one point lead.
Three minutes after returning to the field early in the second half, prop Kemp went over for SWD’s second try.
Strydom continued to plug away when he landed a sixth penalty after 51 minutes, but when captain Floors went over four minutes later, the game seemed to stretch further away from the Griffons.
However, replacement Jeremy Jordaan ensured there was a tense finish when he scored the only try for the visitors.
Oupa Mohoje and Gerrit Smith both then earned yellow cards late on with the hosts holding on for the win.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Grant Kemp, Kabamba Floors. Conversions: Martin du Toit (3). Penalties: Du Toit (3).
Down Touch Griffons – Try: Jeremy Jordaan. Conversion: Louis Strydom. Penalties: Strydom (6).