The Regent Boland Cavaliers managed to record a tough victory over the visiting SWD Eagles and also scored four tries on route to their 35-30 (halftime 22-15) victory in their Absa Currie Cup first division match played at Boland Stadium in Wellington on Saturday afternoon.
An early try by Captain Franzel September saw the hosts go ahead 5-0 after flyhalf Eric Zana missed the conversion. The boot of fullback Justin van Staden opened the scoring for the Eagles via a penalty. Zana then made a superb break to release centre Johnathan Francke and also converted the try.
Boland lead 12-3 at this stage and looked in control of matters. Hooker Clemen Lewis was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, his second offence in a space of few minutes. His opposite number, Martin Ferreira, burrowed his way over the line and Van Staden kicked the conversion.
Zana kicked a penalty to make it 15-10 after 30 minutes of play. Winger Alshaun Bock went over in the corner and scored try number 14 for the campaign. The conversion was missed and the scores were level just before halftime. With virtually no time left in the half a flat pass by Zana released Chesswinn Williams who darted over the line. Zana added the extras and Boland led 22-15 at the break.
Coach Bevan Fortuin must have read his players the riot act as Clint Wagman touched down seconds after the start of the half. The touchline conversion went just wide and the deficit was narrowed to 22-20. When Van Staden kicked a penalty the visitors took the lead for the first time in the match.
Braam Gerber scored within seconds after making his appearance after superb counter-attacking by Jacquin Jansen and Garth April. This wrapped up the bonus-point for the hosts and the conversion by Zana saw Boland reclaim the lead.
A second yellow card, for a shoulder charge, saw Francke sent to the sideline for 10 minutes. Despite being down to 14 men it was Boland who edged further ahead courtesy of a penalty by Zana to lead 32-22.
Boland tried to wind down the clock and went ahead to 35-22 after Zana kicked his third penalty of the day. When replacement lock Grant le Roux scored a late try it meant the visitors had a chance to snatch the victory.
The conversion by Van Staden meant that with less than three minutes left to play the score was 35-30. Boland held the ball for the remainder of the game and recorded a vital victory which sees them remain in the hunt for a place in the semifinals of Absa Currie Cup first division.
REGENT BOLAND CAVALIERS: Tries: Franzel September,Johnathan Francke, Chesswin Williams, Braam Gerber; Conversions: Eric Zana (3); Penalties: Zana (3)
SWD EAGLES: Tries: Martin Ferreira, Alshaun Bock, Clint Wagman, Grant te Roux; Conversions: Justin van Staden (2); Penalties: Justin van Staden (2).