George – The SWD Eagles romped to a 39-22 win over the Border Bulldogs (half-time 10-5) in an entertaining Currie Cup qualifier at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
SWD shrugged off two yellow cards as they ran in five tries to four in a match that exploded into life in the second half after SWD had gone to half-time holding a narrow 10-5 lead over the visitors.
Border came into the match holding a four-point lead over SWD on the log after winning four of their eight matches although SWD did have a game in hand.
The hosts opened the scoring thanks to a penalty from flyhalf Thomas Kean before Border took the lead in the 35th minute when fullback Masixole Bande went over for a try that he failed to convert.
But the home team regained the lead shortly before the half-time break when flank Johannes Stander barged his way over for a converted score.
The start of the second half saw a flurry of scoring and it took the Eagles just two minutes after the restart to extend their lead when lock Andries van der Walt crashed over for a converted try before hooker Mark Pretorius dotted down seven minutes later as SWD eased to a 22-5 lead.
But Border narrowed the gap when replacement flyhalf Logan Basson scored an unconverted try.
SWD were in the ascendency though and they extended their lead once again when replacement flank Christo du Plessis scored a converted try.
However, Border made the hosts sweat as they narrowed the gap to 29-22 thanks to tries from replacement hooker Mihlali Mpafi and left wing Michael Makasa.
But SWD made sure of the win thanks to a penalty from Kean and a try with two minutes left in the match from left wing Daniel Roberts.
Tries Johannes Stander, Andries van der Walt, Mark Pretorius, Christo du Plessis, Daniel Roberts
Conversions: Thomas Kean (4)
Penalties: Kean (2)
Tries: Masixole Bande, Logan Basson, Mihlali Mpafi, Michael Makasa