Cavaliers outscore Tusker Simba XV
The Regent Boland Cavaliers outscored the Tusker Simba XV four tries to three to record a 24-19 (halftime 17-5) victory in the Vodacom cup match played at City Park, Cape Town on Saturday.
The Kenyans were looking to bounce back after suffering two losses in a row while the Cavaliers were still searching for their first win of the season.
It was the Simba eighth man Martin Omondi who scored within the first five but his flyhalf Eden Kochieng could not add the extras.
Boland drew level when their eighth man, Conway Pretorius, scored a try barely five minutes later. Fullback Eric Zana missed his conversion attempt and the teams remained evenly matched.
There was a slight sense of déjà vu as Pretorius scored his second with Zana again missing the conversion.
History nearly repeated itself for a third time as Pretorius crossed for his hat-trick of tries but Zana slotted the conversion to take Boland out to a 17-5 lead.
The Cavaliers had scored three tries in 15 minutes and things only got worse for the Kenyans as prop Moses Amusala was shown a yellow card after 30 minutes of play.
Fortunately for the hosts, they did not concede any points in the ensuing period and the halftime score was 17-5 in favour of the visitors.
Kenya must have had a stern talking-to delivered at halftime as they came out firing after the break with winger Dennis Osinde scoring just three minutes into the half.
Replacement Darwin Mukidza converted and suddenly the Kenyans were within striking distance again.
Flanker Davis Chenge scored to draw the teams’ level again and Mukidza gave the Simba XV the lead for the first time since the 10th minute with his conversion.
Going into the final quarter Boland were trailing 19-17 and four replacements were sent on with the aim of securing the victory.
The game was finely balanced and looking for someone to be a hero and Zana happily obliged for the Cavaliers.
He scored and converted his own try to give Boland the lead and eventually the vital win.
Both teams will need to improve significantly as they face seriously difficult opponents in their coming matches. Boland host the Sharks in Ceres while the Simba XV face DHL WP at Newlands next weekend, which means preparations in the coming week will be vital.
Regent Boland Cavaliers: Tries: Conway Pretorius (3), Eric Zana. Conversions: Zana (2)
Tusker Simba XV: Tries: Martin Omondi , Dennis Osinde, Davis Chenge. Conversions: Darwin Mukidza (2)