Boland outscored their opponents by four tries to three
The Falcons were forced to work hard for their 30-24 victory over Boland on Day Two at Craven Week in Middelburg on Tuesday.
Boland outscored their opponents by four tries to three, but it was the steady boot of Falcons flyhalf Forrest Roos which proved to be the difference in an entertaining match between two evenly matched sides playing contrasting styles of rugby.
The Cape side made a determined start to the game, and the pressure eventually told as loosehead prop Roy Brink broke away and found flank Cornal Brown who went over for the opening try which was converted by fullback Ray Philander.
The Falcons took the direct route in response as they marched into the 22 and stole a line-out before sending it wide to fullback Martin van Wyk who cruised over for the try and the conversion from flyhalf Forrest Roos levelled things up at 7-7.
They were in the lead soon afterwards when Roos slotted a long-range penalty, but Boland hit back with their second try with some slick handling putting right wing Earll Douwrie over in the corner.
The Falcons were having things all their own way at scrum-time with two tightheads in quick succession putting them on the front foot again. This time the ball was worked out to Jimmy Mpailane and the centre crashed over to put his side back in front at 17-14, which made it anyone's game at half-time.
Both teams were struck a blow when an altercation between the two looseheads props Brink and Hannriel Coetzee saw them both sent to the sin bin by the referee.
Both sides had opportunities while down to 14 men, but there was no change to the score when the two props returned to the fray with 20 minutes left to play.
Eventually it was Boland that came up with the goods, as hooker Adriaan de Waal capped off a promising surge into the Falcons 22 by forcing his way over the tryline.
That put Boland ahead 19-7 but they did not have the lead for long as Roos slotted another penalty almost immediately to put the Falcons 20-19 up.
Boland threw everything at them in the ifnal stages as they tried to snatch a dramatic win, but their hopes were dashed when Roos kicked his third penalty which was followed by a superb individual try from last year's SA Schools scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuuren.
The tall scrumhalf collected the ball in his own territory, bumped off a few tackles, chipped ahead and gathered again to go over for a remarkable try.
Boland would have the final say with centre Andre Gouws going over for a late try, but it was too little too late as the Falcons held on for victory.
Man of the match: Falcons lock Hendre Stassen, scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuuren and flank Simanqaliso Moalusi were all impressive, but flyhalf Forrest Roos controlled the game well and ultimately was the difference between the teams.
For the Falcons:
Tries: Van Wyk, Mpailane, Jansen van Vuuren
Cons: Roos 3
Pens: Roos 3
Tries: Brown, Douwrie, De Waal, Gouws
Cons: Philander 2
Yellow cards: Roy Brink (Boland, 40 mins - Foul play) Hannriel Coetzee (Falcons, 40 mins - Foul play)
Falcons: 15 Martin van Wyk, 14 Irvin Ali, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Jimmy Mpailane, 11 Darren de Bruin, 10 Forrest Roos, 9 Marco Jansen Van Vuuren, 8 Quinton van der Schyff, 7 Simanqaliso Moalusi, 6 Fabian van der Walt, 5 Hendre Stassen, 4 Thokozani Skhosana, 3 Donovan Venter, 2 Nico Peyper, 1 Hannriel Coetzee.
Replacements: 16 Stefan Jacobs, 17 Lesego Sereme, 18 Warren Brits, 19 Motlatsi Khoza, 20 Charl Barkhuizen, 21 Ntshepe Kokong, 22 Joas Nare.
Boland: 15 Ray Philander, 14 Earll Douwrie, 13 Stephan Borman, 12 Andre Gouws, 11 Jaydrin Kotze, 10 Fabio Afrika, 9 Gillroy Farmer, 8 Iver Aanhuizen, 7 Cornal Brown, 6 Hadley Hendricks, 5 Christiaan van der Merwe, 4 Willem Augustyn, 3 Stephan Fourie, 2 Adriaan de Waal, 1 Roy Brink.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Smuts, 17 Adriaan Oberholzer, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Morne Van Wyk, 20 Handre Ontong, 21 Gervin Rossouw, 22 Adriaan van der Bank.
Referee: Rodney Bonaparte
Assistant referees: Eduan Nel, Oregopotse Rametsi
TMOs: Jason Jaftha/Tahla Ntshakaza