Eagles edge Elephants
The SWD Eagles picked up a precious away win in the Currie Cup First Division when they beat the Mighty Elephants 15-6 (halftime 8-3) in a match played at the EPRU stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
In doing so, the visitors picked up their fourth win from five starts in this year’s competition, although they were not nearly as rampant as they were in last week’s 47-15 victory over the Valke.
However, four points picked up on the road are not to be sneezed at, and coach Johann Lerm’s charges move up to 17 points on the table and into second place.
For the Elephants, this was their third loss of the season and easily their worst performance of the year. The home side’s scrum held up well but that’s where the positives ended, as they conceded two soft tries in a low-scoring affair.
The Eagles raced into an 8-0 first-half lead thanks to a try from right wing Norman Nelson and a penalty by scrumhalf Jandré Blom, with flyhalf Wesley Dunlop’s 39th-minute penalty all that EP could show for their efforts before the break.
Dunlop added a second penalty in the second half, but the Eagles clinched the match thanks to an excellent piece of opportunism by flyhalf Gaffie du Toit, who tap-kicked a penalty on his own 22-metre line before somehow weaving and kicking his way to a try under the posts that left the home crowd dumbfounded.
The Elephants showed no fire but they weren’t helped by the fact that Dunlop and Ryan Brown missed three kicks between them, which eventually meant that the home side began kicking their penalties to the corners, without reward.
For the visitors, lock Henry Grimes was a deserved man of the match for the way he bossed the lineouts, while former WP Vodacom Cup eighthman Jody Burch was solid all afternoon at the back of the SWD pack.
For EP, flanker Jacques Potgieter and former Springbok centre De Wet Barry never gave up, but they were powerless to stop the team effort that eventually got the Eagles home.
Mighty Elephants 6 – Penalties: Wesley Dunlop (2).
SWD Eagles 15 – Tries: Norman Nelson, Gaffie du Toit. Conversion: Jandré Blom. Penalty: Blom.