Brendon April scored a brace of tries as defending champions Regent Boland Kavaliers ended their Absa Currie Cup First Division season on a positive note by beating the Border Bulldogs 43-24 (26-7) at the Boland Stadium in Wellington on Friday.
The match was a dead rubber after both sides were already eliminated from the competition, but there was still plenty of pride at stake for the hosts after a wretched year, in which they had won just two matches.
Victory ensured they ended in sixth place, while the Bulldogs finished the campaign winless after 14 consecutive defeats.
Boland set the tone early on in the game by opening the soring inside the first minute when outside centre Jonathan Francke intercepted a pass well inside his own half, before racing in to score under the post.
The lead was stretched even further in the eighth minute when Elgar Watts picked up after a handling error by Border close to the halfway mark, with the flyhalf running 40 meters and offloading to April for the first of his first tries.
It was 12-0 at that stage and in the 12th minute the visitors were awarded a penalty within striking range, but lost the ball after opting to scrum.
The Kavaliers’ third try then went on to score a third try courtesy of flanker Alwyn Bester after several missed tackles by Border.
The men from the Eastern Cape came close to opening their account in the 26th when a quick throw in at the lineout resulted in Siyabulela Mdaka going over, but referee Quintin Immelman adjudged that the ball was not thrown in correctly.
However, they did manage their first score soon after when Blake Kyd went over, although April pounced on more poor handling by the Bulldogs before the break to land his second try – the player kicking up field from the halfway line and outgunning two chasers with pace, before diving over.
After the break, the home side continued to attack and Watts powered over for a fifth try, with the remaining scores coming from Bjorgen Julies and Jacquin Jansen.
Border’s remaining three tries came via Johannes Seerane, Matthew Taljaard, Chrislyn van Schalkwyk.
The match also marked the final appearance for home captain Bolla Conradie, who was playing in his 50th game.
He was replaced by Neil Papier, himself playing a final time for the Kavaliers after 11 seasons and 154 games.
Regent Boland Kavaliers – Tries: Brendon April (2), Jonathan Francke, Alwyn Bester, Elgar Watts, Bjorgen Julies, Jacquin Jansen.
Conversions: Watts (4).
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Blake Kyd, Johannes Seerane, Matthew Taljaard, Chrislyn van Schalkwyk