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Rugby | Vodacom Cup

Byron Mcguigan © Gallo Images

Late tries give Bulldogs draw



Two tries in the final three minutes gave the Border Bulldogs an unlikely 20-20 (halftime 0-10) draw against Namibia’s Welwitschias in a Vodacom Cup match played at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.

The home side looked to have done enough to bring up their first win in six attempts in this year’s competition, leading 20-8 going into the 77th minute.

But they didn’t account for the fighting spirit of the Bulldogs, and in particular their left wing, Lonwabo Ntlama, who raced over to cut the deficit to seven points.

Crucially, scrumhalf Ntando Kebe missed the conversion that would have given the Bulldogs a chance to win by scoring a converted try.

But the men from East London did the next best thing, scoring again on the hooter through centre Byron Mcguigan, who did nail the last-second conversion to give his team a share of the spoils.

For long stretches of this encounter, the Namibians had the measure of their opponents, going 10-0 ahead after 26 minutes thanks to a try by flanker Tinus du Plessis, converted by flyhalf Chrysander Botha, who also kicked a penalty.

Mcguigan brought the Bulldogs back into the match in the 43rd minute when he dived over for the Bulldogs’ first try and followed it up with a penalty seven minutes later to make it 10-8.

Botha responded with a penalty of his own before centre David Philander crashed over on the hour to open up a 12-point lead.

But it proved to be not quite enough, as the Bulldogs dug deep to produce a quite astounding comeback.

Scorers:

Namibia 20 – Tries: Poeding Philander, Tinus du Plessis. Conversions: Chrysander Botha (2). Penalties: Botha (2).

Border 20 – Tries: Lonwabo Ntlama, Byron Mcguigan, Chumani Booi. Conversion: Mcguigan. Penalty: Mcguigan.

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