The SWD Eagles overcame a 13-point half-time deficit on their way to a 58-42 win against the Valke (half-time 22-35) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
The Valke scored five converted tries in the first-half but were only able to score one more try in the second half as the Eagles clinched victory thanks, in part, to two tries apiece from wing Alshaun Bock and loosehead prop Roy Godfrey.
The bonus-point win saw the Eagles move to second place on the log, one point ahead of the EP Kings but eight points behind the log-leading Steval Pumas.
Eagles fullback Justin van Staden ended with 18 points through six conversions and two penalties.
The Valke made all the early running in the match and they led 28-14 after 23 minutes thanks to tries from loosehead prop Bruce Muller, lock JP Mostert, outside centre Coert Cronje and a penalty try while the hosts responded with tries from Bock and lock Mzwanele Zito.
The Eagles slowly closed the gap when Bock scooted over for his second try, in the 27th minute, before Van Staden narrowed the gap to six points with a penalty.
But the Valke made sure of a strong finish to the half when fullback Kyle Hendricks dotted down four minutes before the break.
The Eagles seemed to be revitalised after the resumption of play and Godfrey nabbed himself two tries in the space of two minutes as the home team cut the deficit to just one point, five minutes after the restart.
The hosts finally took the lead in the 52nd minute when Van Staden nailed his second penalty before flyhalf Martin du Toit and replacement wing Hentzwill Pedro both crossed for tries.
Replacement hooker Wessel du Rand scored the Valke’s only try of the second half in the 73rd minute before the Eagles rounded off their victory in style with replacement prop Dean Hopp rumbling over for a try with four minutes left in the match
SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock (2), Mzwanele Zito, Roy Godfrey (2), Martin du Toit, Hentzwill Pedro, Dean Hopp; Conversions: Justin van Staden (6); Penalties: Van Staden (2).
Valke – Tries: Bruce Muller, JP Mostert, Penalty Try, Coert Cronje, Kyle Hendricks, Wessel du Rand; Conversions: Jaun Kotze (6).