The SWD Eagles strengthened their bid for a Vodacom Cup quarterfinal berth with a superb 31-10 victory (halftime 21-5) over the Eastern Province Kings in a South Section clash at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday.
The Eagles will be thrilled with the win secured against their more-fancied neighbours. By contrast, the Kings will need some serious improvement if they are to have any hope of competing against Absa Currie Cup Premier Division opposition this season.
They were out-muscled, albeit mainly in the first half, and their tactical kicking was downright poor. Their defence also let them down on occasions. But the Eagles were full value for the win and deserved the four points on the road.
The Kings started the better of the two sides placing pressure on their opposition from the outset. But SWD weathered that storm and won a tighthead deep within their own half. Quick hands and some incisive running saw them advance all the way up the field for speedy wing Alshaun Bock to score a fantastic team try after eight minutes. Fullback Elrich van Vuuren slotted the conversion.
Two penalties by Van Vuuren saw that lead extended to 13-0 after 15 minutes and EP were staring down a barrel.
They did pull a try back through wing Luther Obi who did well to twist his way over the line despite the attention of three defenders.
But another Van Vuuren penalty and a try by Clinton Wagman saw the visitors into a dominant 21-5 lead at the break.
The Kings started the second half in the same way they started the first and camped in the SWD 22-metre area for around 10 minutes without managing a breakthrough.
The Eagles were first to score points in the second half thanks to a 71st minute try by scrumhalf Dwayne Kelly and a conversion and penalty by flyhalf Gerhardus Smith.
The Kings snatched a consolation try after the fulltime hooter through prop Simon Kerrod but it was too little too late.
EP KINGS – Tries: Luther Obi, Simon Kerrod
SWD EAGLES – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Clinton Wagman, Dwayne Kelly; Conversions: Elrich van Vuuren, Gerhardus Smith; Penalties: Elrich van Vuuren (3), Gerhardus Smith.