Johannesburg - The Boland Cavaliers outscored the Tusker Simba XV four tries to three to record a 24-19 (half-time 17-5) victory in the Vodacom cup match played at City Park, Cape Town on Saturday.
The hosts were looking to bounce back after suffering two losses in a row while the Cavaliers were still searching for their maiden win of the season.
Eightman Martin Omondi scored for the Kenyans within the first five minutes but his flyhalf Eden Kochieng could not add the extras.
Omondi ‘s opposite number Conway Pretorius, drew the two teams level by scoring a try barely five minutes later. Fullback Eric Zana missed his conversion attempt and the teams remained evenly matched.
This was to be the start of a blitz by the Cavaliers as Conway completed his hat trick by scoring twice more with Zana adding one conversion in less than fifteen minutes.
Things only got worse for the Kenyans as prop Moses Amusala was shown a yellow card after 30 minutes of play.
Luckily 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 during the break as they came out firing with winger Dennis Osinde scoring just three minutes into the half.
Replacement back Darwin Mukidza converted and suddenly the Kenyans were within striking distance again.
Flank Davis Chenge scored to make it 17-17 and Mukidza gave the Simba XV the lead for the first time since the tenth 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 evenly 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 the 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 WP at Newlands next weekend, which means preparations in the coming week will be vital.
Boland Cavaliers: Tries: Conway Pretorius (3), Eric Zana. Conversions: Zana (2)
Simba XV: Tries: Martin Omondi , Dennis Osinde, Davis Chenge. Conversions: Darwin Mukidza (2)