A two-try burst by the SWD Eagles saw them secure a hard-fought 21-17 (halftime 7-10) victory over hosts Regent Boland Cavaliers in Wellington on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts were looking to record a second victory in the Currie Cup qualifiers after thumping Border 37-12 the previous Saturday.
SWD had been on the receiving end of a 52-34 hammering from the Valke at Outeniqua Park in George and needed to bounce back strongly.
The Eagles were first on the board when centre Daniel Roberts intercepted a loose pass and scored a try with just ten minutes gone in the match. Flyhalf Karlo Aspeling added the extras before Eric Zana opened the hosts’ account with a long-range penalty thereafter.
Big prop Khwezi Mkhafu showed agility not normally associated with a front ranker and gave Boland the lead when he ran in for his try. Zana edged the Cavaliers slightly further ahead with his penalty and the score remained 10-7 going into the break.
Coach Bevin Fortuin must have been a much happier man after halftime as his charges started to dominate proceedings on the field.
Replacement scrumhalf Dwayne Kelly took the ball from a lineout near halfway and ran a superb line to score. He managed to rid himself from the attention of the would be Boland defender in the way Mike Phillips of Wales so frequently does.
Fullback Elric van Vuuren had taken over the kicking duties and made no mistake with his conversion. The visitors were ahead 14-10 and looked dangerous with ball in hand.
Winger Brian Skosana rounded off a superb team try minutes later after some excellent interplay saw him break free. Hooker Kurt Haupt and centre Martin du Toit both featured in this passage of play as the Eagles surged ahead.
Van Vuuren again popped over the conversion and SWD were sitting pretty at 21-10 going into the final quarter of the match.
The combination of a number of substitutions by Boland and the sinbinning of Haupt saw the hosts stage a late fightback. Zana went over after Albert Trytsman had manipulated the numerical advantage and converted his own try.
Boland were unable to secure the win and SWD returned to George with a vital victory. The hosts travel to Kempton Park and will need to lift their game if they are to challenge the Valke next week.
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Khwezi Mkhafu, Eric Zana; Conversions: Zana (2); Penalties: Zana.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Daniel Roberts, Dwayne Kelly, Brian Skosana; Conversions: Karlo Aspeling, Elric van Vuuren (2).