The SWD Eagles ran in five tries as they defeated Border 31-22 (halftime 26-14) in an Absa Currie Cup First Division encounter at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.
The home side were full value for their full haul of five log points as they ran in four first-half tries thanks to Daniel Roberts, Alshaun Bock, Buran Parks and Dwayne Kelly. Fullback Roberts rounded off a good evening with his second try midway through the second stanza.
Right wing Bock had the sparse George crowd on their feet just ten minutes into the match with a well-rounded try in the corner after some good backline work. But the visitors struck back almost immediately through inside centre Lithabile Mgwadleka, with fullback Masixole Banda converting to hand Border a two point lead after 15 minutes.
Roberts grabbed his first five-pointer with some good skill as he joined the line and cut inside to restore the lead for the home side. Centre Elric van Vuuren converted to hand the Eagles a 12-7 lead.
Despite their inferior size, the Eagles forwards boxed cleverly and were rewarded with a try to flanker Parks, who burst over from a well-constructed maul. Van Vuuren did the business with the boot to extend the lead to 12 points on the half-hour mark.
But a concentration-lapse allowed the visitors right back into the contest with a try from right wing Makazole Mapimpi after some brilliant backline play from Border. Banda converted the try to reduce the deficit to just five points.
The Eagles nailed down their bonus point for scoring four tries when, on the stroke of halftime, scrumhalf Kelly darted over to restore the 12-point advantage with Van Vuuren slotting the extra two points.
Border made their intentions clear right at the outset of the second stanza with their third try through outside centre Lundi Ralarala, but Banda was unable to convert, leaving the visitors trailing by seven points just two minutes after the restart.
Both sides sparred and parried like two heavy-weight boxers after 12 rounds but Banda slotted the only penalty of the night midway through the second half to bring his side to within four points of the hosts.
Three minutes later Daniels scored his second try to move the Eagles out of striking distance and hold on for their second victory of their campaign.
The win takes the Eagles to within one point of the second-placed Griffons, who face the Leopards in a top-of-the-log clash on Saturday.
The Bulldogs, who have just one win in eight starts, remain rock-bottom of the First Division with eight points, five points adrift of the Boland Kavaliers after having played one game more.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Daniel Roberts (2), Alshaun Bock, Buran Parks, Dwayne Kelly; Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3).
Border – Tries: Lithabile Mgwadleka, Makazole Mapimpi, Lundi Ralarala; Conversions: Masixole Banda (2); Penalty: Banda.