An error-strewn performance from the Border Bulldogs was a major factor as they crashed to a heavy 42-3 defeat against the visiting Boland Kavaliers in their Currie Cup First Division clash at the BCM Stadium on Saturday evening.
Although the home side took the lead early in the first half, nothing else went right for them as Boland ran in six unanswered tries, three in each half, to power to a massive bonus point win.
It was Border’s third loss of the competition, and compounded their problems as the team goes through a transitioning phase after losing a number of senior players over the past season.
That, however, does not excuse the many errors made during the match. “There are so many things that went wrong and I am not sure where to start,” admitted Bulldogs captain Blake Kyd.
“A lot of it is our own mistakes; we tend to put the other team in the game with the mistakes that we make and I firmly believe that Boland weren’t better than us; we just gave the game to them on a platter.
“The difference between us and Boland was that every time they entered our 22m they came away with points and unfortunately with us not finishing our own chances got their tails up and it gave them more and more confidence.”
A further problem for the Bulldogs could be Kyd possibly being out of action for a bit, after he took a knock to his ankle near the end of the game. “I am not exactly sure what happened to the ankle – it is a bit tender now, but I will do everything that I can to be back for next week,” said Kyd.
In the match Border took the lead in the 11th minute after flyhalf Xolela Payi kicked a successful penalty from in front between the 10m and 22m.
The Kavaliers then hit back immediately through lock Marlyn Williams, who crashed over for a converted score. Further tries to scrumhalf Vian van der Watt and hooker Clemen Lewis, with fullback Divan Nel nailing all three conversions, saw the Kavaliers take a comfortable lead into the half-time break.
The Bulldogs put in a much better effort at the start of the second half and came close to scoring a couple of times. But once the early storm was contained normal service resumed as Lewis and Williams went over for their second tries and replacement hooker Francois Esterhuyzen scored a runaway try, with Nel making it a perfect six kicks out of six to cap off a brilliant away win.
Border will now need to go back to the drawing board over the coming week and look to make a drastic improvement after their very poor start to the season. “I think it is just a matter of humbling ourselves, knowing that we have to go back to the basics, fix our basics and then the rest of the game will come from there,” explained Kyd.
The Bulldogs will not get a better opportunity to claim what would be a morale-boosting win as they take on the Eastern Province Kings, the only team lower than them on the log after three games. The game will take place at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this coming Saturday.