George - The SWD Eagles have all but booked a home quarter final in this year's Vodacom Cup competition by beating DHL Western Province 23-14 in the sides encounter at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.
The Eagles are almost certain that they will host a home quarter final, but the Free State XV will rob them of that honour if they can beat a lacklustre Tusker Tsimba XV on Saturday in Bloemfontein.
Eagles fly half Karlo Aspeling proved to be the deciding factor in a game where both the hosts and visitors managed to score twice. Aspeling kicked two conversions and three penalties in what was to be the difference between the two sides on the day.
The Eagles dominated much of the first half, scoring a penalty via the boot of Aspeling before centre Daniel Roberts crossed the white wash for the first try of the evening. Aspeling converted to make the half time score 10-0 in favour of the hosts.
After the break, the Eagles picked up where they left off and winger Alshaun Bock scored with Aspeling again converting to stun the visitors to a deficit of 17 points.
Province made no less than four tactical substitutions in a window of four minutes and the visitors reaped the rewards when fly half Gary van Aswegen scored and centre Robert du Preez converted to finally get Province on the score board.
But Aspeling was on song with his kicking boot and slotted another penalty near the end to put the result beyond doubt.
SWD were left with 14 men in the last ten minutes after Quinten Petzer was yellow carded, and Province used the advantage to put their captain Rohan Kitshoff away one minute from full time. Replacement Freddie Muller converted, but it was too little too late for the visitors
SWD Eagles 23 (10): Tries: Daniel Roberts, Alshaun Bock. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2). Penalties: Karlo Aspeling (3).
DHL Western Province 14 (0): Tries: Gary van Aswegen, Rohan Kitshoff. Conversions: Robert du Preez, Freddie Muller.