A haul of 20 points from the boot of the Border Bulldogs' leading scorer, Karlo Aspeling, and a late try by wing Chrislyn van Schalkwyk combined to give the visitors a deserved 25-19 victory over the South West Districts Eagles in a Vodacom Cup South Section basement battle at Outeniqua Park, in George, on Friday night.
The home team will look back on an indisciplined showing in which they gave away far too many penalties and two yellow cards, which completely undermined their efforts.
Their power up front and an excellent performance by flyhalf Martin du Toit enabled them to score three tries, two of which were converted, and in the early stages it seemed as if they would have no trouble in securing their second win of the competition.
Du Toit set up the first with a great break to feed fullback Alshaun Bock, and scored the second himself by darting through a half-gap from broken play as the Eagles went 12-6 up in the 23rd minute.
Wing Clinton Wagman scored the third in the corner after the break, when replacement flyhalf Elric van Vuuren slipped a quick pass to the flyer on the touchline.
Earlier, the Bulldogs lived up to their name when stopping No 8 Lyndon Hartnick on the line after another break by Du Toit, and an Eagles try was cancelled when loosehead prop Leyle Delo played the ball on the ground as he tried to burrow over.
At halftime, all the visitors had to show for their grit was a superb break by pacy wing Joe Seerane which was hauled down on the line, and the four penalties slotted by Aspeling, but it was enough to go into the break at 12-12.
The Eagles' game fell apart in the second half, when scrumhalf Mzo Dyanti, who had a good game controlling the distribution, was sent to the sin bin.
That in itself was not too costly, for the Bulldogs added just three points in his absence, and they were able to regroup for the third try, but a second yellow card against Shaun Raubenheimer, for a late tackle in the 67th minute, provided the nail in the coffin.
Aspeling kicked his sixth penalty and the Bulldogs piled on the pressure against the 14-man Eagles. They finally cracked in the 75th minute when an enterprising move down the line, with quick hands and a telling contribution from Seerane, ended with Van Schalkwyk diving over the line.
Aspeling converted to bring the Eagles down to earth and lift the Bulldogs off the bottom of the log with only their second victory.
South West Districts Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Martin du Toit, Clinton Wagman. Conversions: Jeff Taljard, Elric van Vuuren.
Border Bulldogs – Try: Van Schalkwyk. Conversion: Karlo Aspeling. Penalties: Karlo Aspeling (6).