Two late tries secured a vital bonus point for the Boland Cavaliers as they beat the visiting SWD Eagles 32-16 (halftime 10-8) in their Currie Cup Qualifying match played at Boland Stadium, Wellington, on Friday afternoon.
It was the Eagles who drew first blood as flyhalf Thomas Kean booted over a penalty before the livewire winger Leighton Eksteen stretched the lead. A deft kick by centre Wilneth Engelbrecht saw Eksteen collect the ball and dive over acrobatically for the first try of the day.
At 8-0 down the Cavaliers then awoke from their slumber and captain fantastic Ryan Nell took an offload from his pivot Theuns Kotze to barge over for a try. Kotze converted and also kicked a penalty on the stroke of halftime to give his team the lead.
Nell, playing in his customary position of outside centre, continued to lead with example and got his second for the day, and seventh for the season, as the Cavaliers extended the gap to 15-8.
Eksteen and Kotze traded penalties before the Eagles winger also grabbed a brace for the day. The conversion attempt was wide and at 18-16 the game was still in the balance.
Hard working flanker Shaun Adendorff sealed the victory for the home team with less than five minutes left in the game before inside centre Christopher Bosch wrapped up the all-important fourth try.
The Cavaliers have a slight gap over the Steval Pumas on the qualifying log and have a rest before they travel to the BCM Stadium in East London to battle the Border on June 16.
Boland Cavaliers: Tries: Ryan Nell (2), Shaun Adendorff, Christopher Bosch Conversions: Theuns Kotze (3) Penalties: Kotze (2)
SWD Eagles: Tries: Leighton Eksteen (2) Conversion: Thomas Kean Penalty: Eksteen