The SWD Eagles turned in a strong first-half performance on their way to a 19-13 (half-time 13-3) win over the Border Bulldogs in their Absa Currie Cup qualifier at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
The Eagles claimed their first win of the season, in their fifth game, as they ran in three tries to one with the two tries that they scored in the first-half giving them what turned out to be an unassailable lead.
The visitors opened the scoring with an early penalty from fullback Logan Basson but the hosts were soon into their stride as two tries in three minutes saw the Eagles take a handy 13-3 lead.
Inside centre Martin du Toit was the first man to breach Border’s defence when he went over for a try in the seventh minute before fullback Leighton Eksteen grabbed a try of his own.
Flyhalf Gerrit Smith converted both tries as the home team went to the break holding an 10-point lead.
The second half was a far more cagy affair and Border narrowed the gap to eight points with Basson’s second penalty.
But the Eagles made sure of the win when flank Christo du Plessis barrelled his way over for an unconverted try in the 55th minute.
Border did manage the consolation of a late try, when replacement hooker Ludwe Booi crashed over for a converted try in the 73rd minute but it was too little, too late for the visitors.
The win moved the Eagles to fifth on the log while the loss severely dented Border’s hopes of ending the qualifying phase of the competition on top of the log as they remain in third place, six points behind the ORC Griquas.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Martin du Toit, Leighton Eksteen, Christo du Plessis; Conversions: Gerrit Smith (2).
Border Bulldogs – Try: Ludwe Booi; Conversion: Logan Basson; Penalties: Basson (2).