Despite suffering their first defeat of the season, DHL Western Province clinched top-spot from the Cavaliers by gaining a losing bonus-point in the match which will see the former champions take on Tafel Lager Griquas in the second semi-final next weekend.
The victory for the very hungry and determined Boland players, earned them a semi-final against the unbeaten iSG Pumas in Nelspruit next weekend.
Boland scored two tries through left wing Valentino Wellman and hooker Neil Rautenbach along with a penalty try while flyhalf Garrick Mattheus could only manage a solitary conversion. Province's points came through tries from hooker Schalk Erasmus and centre David Brits while flyhalf Abner van Reenen landed one conversion and three penalties.
Both sides suffered at the hands of referee Griffin Duncan Colby, who showed Province two yellow cards with Province fullback Tristan Leyds being sent to the sin bin near the end of the first half while Van Reenen suffered his fate with just eight minutes left on the clock. Boland's right wing Shilton van Wyk was sin-binned with three minutes left on the clock for a deliberate knock-down.
The lead changed hands a few times in the closing stages but it was the men from the Cape Winelands holding out for a famous victory.
The home team was out of the blocks early with Van Reenen's first penalty but Boland took control and scored the first try of the match as Wellman raced down the lefthand touchline to round off a good move from the visitors to give the Cavaliers a 5-3 lead as Mattheus missed the conversion.
The score woke the Cape side and they worked a good lineout to maul strongly to the line with Erasmus controlling well to score a try which Van Reenen converted to give the hosts a five-point lead midway through the first stanza.
The final twenty minutes of the opening half belonged to Boland as they stayed in DHL WP's faces and were rewarded with a try by Rautenbach. The Cavaliers mauled from a lineout and Rautenbach peeled away to score his side's second try. With 10 minutes left in the first half, Leyds was shown his yellow card for a deliberate knock-down and with the fullback being the last defender, Colby had no choice but to award the visitors a penalty try which gave Boland a healthy nine-point lead at the break.
The second stanza was frenetic with neither side really being able to take total control and convert territory and possession into points. DHL WP though closed the gap as replacement scrumhalf Justin Phillips broke through the Boland defence and then handed off to Brits who raced away to score but with Van Reenen missing his target to leave Province one point shy of their foes.
Van Reenen and Mattheus both traded penalties which sent the crowd into delirium as the small Winelands union enjoyed a rare victory over their neighbours.
Boland Cavaliers' Garrick Mattheus converts a penalty of his own and puts the Cavaliers ahead in the match once again!— SS Rugby Challenge (@rugbychallenge) June 9, 2019
DHL Western Province 21-22 Boland Cavaliers
73 minutes played #BornToRugby pic.twitter.com/CZJS6Sk2Gn
DHL Western Province - Tries: Schalk Erasmus, David Brits. Conversion: Abner van Reenen. Penalties: Van Reenen (3).
Boland Cavaliers - Tries: Valentino Wellman, Neil Rautenbach, Penalty Try. Conversion: Garrick Mattheus. Penalty: Mattheus.