THE SWD Eagles took a major step forward in their bid to gain a home semifinal in the Absa Currie Cup First Division when they registered a decisive 15-6 win over the Elephants at the EPRU Stadium on Saturday afternoon after leading 8-3 at halftime.
The Eagles deserved their win and showed that they are determined to gain a place in the promotion stakes at the end of the season. As for EP, it was a calculated gamble that went astray and they will now face an uphill battle to reach the playoffs.
The experience of former Springbok flyhalf Gaffie du Toit played a major role in his team's success.
Du Toit scored the decisive try when he caught the home team's defence off-guard by taking a quick tap-penalty close to his own tryline and covered the length of the field to score under the poles.
Though EP tried valiantly throughout the 80 minutes they clearly lacked finesse and foresight. The lack of understanding between backs and forwards also did not assist EP's cause.
In the first half the Eagles enjoyed a territorial advantage and held a 8-3 lead at halftime. Though the Elephants should have opened the scoring soon after the start, flyhalf Wesley Dunlop failed with a relatively easy penalty.
The Eagles took control from this point onwards and opened the scoring when wing Norman Nelson crossed over from a full backline movement in rounding his opponent for a try in the corner. Jandre Blom failed with the conversion attempt.
The Eagles maintained their dominance and increased their lead when Blom succeeded with a penalty to raise the lead to 8-0. EP eventually opened their scoring towards the end of the first half when Dunlop succeeded with a straightforward penalty.
Wing Norman Nelson, who featured prominently for the Eagles in the first half, did not return in the second half due to a leg injury. - Sapa