George - The SWD Eagles fought valiantly, but were defeated 17 - 22 (half time 7 - 17) by the Pampas in their Vodacom Cup match at Outeniqua Park in George of Friday.
The first half saw the Eagles play some good, positive rugby, but it was the Pampas who opened the scoring through a 10th-minute penalty by flyhalf, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias. The home side struggled to break down the visitors' defense but then the Eagles centre, Alshaun Bock, intercepted a pass and raced for the line. Fullback Elric van Vuuren converted to give the hosts a 7-3 lead after 20 minutes.
Eight minutes later, referee Marius van der Westhuizen awarded the Pampas a penalty try, which Iglesias converted, due to the Eagles collapsing an attacking scrum. The Eagles' scrum seemed to be under some pressure as Tomas Cubelli picked up from the base of a scrum, and the nuggety little scrumhalf forced his way over for a converted try.
The Eagles began the second half, as they did the first, and their pressure finally paid off as number eight, Lyndon Hartnick forced his way through the defence from a scrum, and scored a hard-fought try. Van Vuuren converted to narrow the gap to three points after 48 minutes.
Three minutes later, the small crowd were dancing for joy as Van Vuuren slotted a penalty which levelled the scores. But the joy was short lived, as the Pampas left wing went over for the easiest of tries just two minutes later. Iglesias was unable to convert the try, as the visitors entered the last 20 minutes with a five point lead.
Van Vuuren had the chance to close the gap but missed a penalty in the 64th minute.
Iglesias had the chance to deny the Eagles a bonus point two minutes from time, but sent his effort wide of the posts.
Scorers: SWD Eagles - Tries: Alshaun Bock, Lyndon Hartnick; Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (2); Penalties: Van Vuuren
Pampas - Tries: Penalty Try, Tomas Cubelli, Manuel Montero; Conversions: Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (2); Penalty: Iglesias