Eagles go second in Currie Cup first division

The South Western District Eagles secured second spot of the First Division log with a narrow 18-16 win over the Eastern Province Elephants at Outeniqua Park on Saturday, after leading 9-3 at halftime.

Proceedings started on a sad note with a minute silence for SWD reserve hooker Junior Leota, who lost five family members in the Pacific Island tsunami.

SWD controlled matters in the first half, but EP came back strongly after interval and also scored the only try of the match. Both sides made poor decisions and crucial handling errors at vital stages which cost them points. SWD coach Johann Lerm said he is deligted with the win.

“That is what we worked for. The results is a home semi-final. It is really fantastic. It’s great to be in charge of a team like the Eagles.

“Now we will be taking the rest of the season match by match. I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Flyhalf Gaffie du Toit opened the scoring in the 5th minute with a well-struck penalty (3-0). He increased his side’s lead to 6-0 in the 10th minute and to 9-0 in the 24th minute with penalties.

EP fullback Carl Bezuidenhout opened his side’s account in the 26th minute with a penalty to make the halftime score 9-3. Five minutes after halftime Du Toit kicked another penalty to increase the lead to 12-3.

In the 47th minutes he again succeeded with a straight forward penalty (15-3). Bezuidenhout made it 15-6 for EP with a penalty in the 54th minute and followed it up with another in the 62nd (15-9). In the 71st minute Du Toit landed his sixth penalty to take a comfortable 18-0 lead.

But EP fought back strongly and scored a try under the post via flyhalf Wesley Dunlop for Bezuidenhout to convert (18-16).

Final Score Eagles 18 EP Elephants 16

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