Free State down the Eagles
July 08, 2016

The Toyota Free State XV overcame a two-point deficit at halftime to secure a 24-16 (halftime 11-13) victory over the SWD Eagles in a Provincial tournament clash at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.

Free State flyhalf and captain, Sias Ebersohn gave the visitors an early lead with two penalties after his opposite number, Hansie Graaff, had opened the scoring with a penalty as early as the first minute.

But the Eagles regained the lead with the first try of the match when scrumhalf Johan Steyn scored a good try, which Graaff converted to give the hosts a four-point advantage. But Steyn then became the villain as he was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes by referee Lesego Logoete shortly before the halftime hooter.

The visitors utilised their one-man advantage immediately with flanker Tienie Burger barging over in the corner after Ebersohn had setup a lineout from the resulting penalty. Ebersohn was unable to convert as the teams left the field with the hosts holding a two-point advantage.

Shortly after Steyn returned to the field, Legoete showed Free State lock Justin Basson a yellow card. Being one man down did not deter the men from Bloemfontein as right wing Mosolwa Mafuma rounded off a good good try which Ebersohn converted to hand Free State a five-point lead.

Ebersohn extended the lead to eight points a minute later but Graaff cancelled out his opposites' effort midway through the second half. That was all the home side could muster as Ebersohn landed his fourth penalty attempt with nine minutes left on the stadium clock to close out the game.

The win moves Free State up one place, to fifth, above the Xerox Golden Lions and just two points adrift of the Steval Pumas while the Eagles are languishing in 10th place, 13 points behind Free State. Both sides are in action next Saturday when the Eagles travel to Roodepoort to take on the Golden Lions while the Free Staters host the Boland Cavaliers in Bloemfontein.


SWD Eagles - Tries: Johan Steyn; Conversions: Hansie Graaff; Penalties: Graaff (3)

Toyota Free State XV - Tries: Tienie Burger, Mosolwa Mafuma; Conversions: Sias Ebersohn; Penalties: Ebersohn (4)

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