Bulldogs Triumph in Try Fest
The Border Bulldogs emerged victorious 39-26 over the Eastern Province Elephants after an entertaining try fest in their Currie Cup First Division match at the BCM Stadium on Friday night.
Eleven tries were scored in the game, with the home side outscoring the visitors seven tries to four, giving the Bulldogs a bonus point win and second victory in a row.
An Elephants fight back in the second half almost brought them within range after the Bulldogs place kickers had a poor night, only converting two of the five tries.
It was a scrappy start to the match, but the visitors seemed to settle quickest, leading to some good pressure in the Bulldogs 22m that ended with eighthman Zingisa April powering his way over for an unconverted try in the 12th minute to give his side a 5-0 lead.
The home side then started to find their feet, with scrumhalf Sinovuyo Nyoka quick tapping a penalty in the red zone to snipe over in the 21st minute and then fullback Sonwabiso Mqalo burst through the Elephants defence in the 25th minute as the Bulldogs took hold of the game.
Flyhalf Lwandile Mapuko only slotted the first conversion and on the stroke of half time he was off target again, although he did make the initial break before passing the ball to right wing Siphosenkosi Nofemele to score in the right hand corner.
This gave the home side a 17-5 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs then kicked it up a notch at the start of the second half as Mqalo and Nofemele dotted down for their respective braces in the 45th and 48th minutes, with Mapuko off target again.
The Elephants then hit back with a converted try to replacement back Riaan Arends, before Bulldogs replacement scrumhalf Bangi Kobese finished off a good break from inside centre Somila Mantyoyi and then converting his own try, putting the home side up 34-12 in the 65th minute.
A yellow card to Bulldogs lock Athenkosi Khetani in the 69th minute for repeated infringements then made sure the back and forth contest would continue as the Elephants fought their way back through their bench as replacements Jean-Pierre Jamieson and Ivan-John du Preez scored, with Ruben de Vos converting, bringing them into the contest at 34-26 in the 76th minute.
The Bulldogs however sealed the win off the kick off, reclaiming the ball and sending replacement back Lutho Adonis into the right hand corner for an unconverted score to end the match.