Currie Cup

Eagles down gutsy Pumas

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The SWD Eagles picked up their third win of the season when they beat the Pumas 31-20 (halftime 14-3) in an Absa Currie Cup First Division match played at Outeniqua Park in George on Saturday afternoon reports the Supersport website.

The bonus-point win moves SWD up to 16 points on the log and consolidates their second position in the standings, behind the all-conquering Leopards.

The Eagles, playing their third home game in a row, started the game hanging onto second place, thanks to a better points difference than the Pumas, but they soon proved who is the better side in this year’s competition.

The home side, coming off a resounding 48-7 defeat of Border last week, opened the scoring in the seventh minute when scrumhalf Hendrik van der Nest broke through for a try converted by flyhalf Ricardo Croy, the former Western Province pivot.

The Eagles then doubled their lead six minutes later when flanker Victor Joubert crashed over from close range. Croy was once again on target to make it 14-0.

The Pumas, playing their third away match on the trot, cut the deficit to 11 points with a quarter of the match gone when flyhalf Tiaan Marx kicked a penalty to make it 14-3.

Marx occupied fourth place on the points-scoring list before the match and despite his off-colour afternoon in last week’s heavy defeat to the Leopards, he once again kept his team in the hunt in George.

The Pumas struck back shortly after the break when former Maties wing Gordon Pangeti crossed for the first of his two tries, converted by Marx, to make it 14-10.

But the Eagles bounced back straight away, replacement utility back Mark Esterhuizen dotting down in the 47th minute, converted by Croy, to open up an 11-point lead.

Pangeti scored his second three minutes later to cut the Eagles’ lead to just four points before Marx made it a one-point game (21-20) with a nerveless 58th minute penalty.

The Eagles finished the stronger of the two sides, however, with wings Ricardo Pietersen and Allistair Kettledas diving over in the final ten minutes to complete the scoring and deny the Pumas what would have been a well deserved bonus point.

Scorers:

SWD Eagles 31
Tries: Hendrik van der Nest, Victor Joubert, Mark Esterhuizen, Ricardo Pietersen, Allistair Kettledas.
Conversions: Ricardo Croy (3).

Pumas 20
Tries: Gordon Pangeti (2).
Conversions: Tiaan Marx (2).
Penalties: Marx (2).

Sapa – CurrieCupRugby.com

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