Border secure first win of season
The Border Bulldogs secured their first win of the season as they beat the Valke 48-31 (half-time 14-19) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.
The match was marred by four yellow-cards and one red-card that the two teams managed to collect between them but Border will be the happier of the two sides as they outscored their opponents by six tries to four.
Border picked up two yellow-cards for transgressions at the breakdown while the Valke’s match was ruined by poor discipline with one yellow-card being awarded after a scuffle and the other coming after a man was tackled without the ball.
Valke wing Gerhardus Kotze was the recipient of the red-card after he was penalised for stamping on an opponent at a ruck.
The Valke were first on the board thanks the trusty boot of fullback Tsepo Kokoali who slotted a penalty in the fifth minute.
Border responded quickly, in the seventh minute, thanks to a breakaway try from left wing Lolo Waka after the Valke had lost the ball on the halfway line. The Bulldogs moved the ball quickly down their backline before Waka set off on a 50-metre run to score.
Fullback Reinhard Gerber converted but the helter-skelter nature of the match early on continued when the Valke struck back with a try of their own two minutes later thanks to good finishing from left wing Wensley Mbanje who went over for an unconverted try.
The home side found themselves holding an 8-7 lead which they stretched to 14-7 thanks to two penalties from Kokoali.
The Bulldogs were not overawed by the growing deficit and they scored their second try, through tighthead prop Buhle Mxunyelwa, after the front ranker mauled his way over the tryline with Gerber adding the extra two points to level the scores at 14 apiece with 25 minutes of the match played.
With eight minutes of the half remaining the Valke struck back through an unconverted try from lock Hendrik Knoetze before superb defence saw the home side hold out a determined series of attacks from Border to go to half-time holding a 19-14 lead.
It was all change in the second half as Border went into the lead five minutes after the restart after a converted try from hard-working flank Dumisani Meslane.
A scuffle in the dead ball area following the try led to Gerber kicking a penalty from the halfway line as Border eased into a 24-19 lead.
Five minutes later Waka collected his second try after he intercepted a loose ball from the Valke on the halfway line before galloping away to score a converted try.
Gerber extended the lead to 34-19 after 15 minutes of the second half before Bulldogs’ outside centre Dumisani Matyeshana was on hand to score after the Valke had allowed a high ball to bounce close to their tryline with 20 minutes of the match remaining.
Border then lost both their flankers, Solly Tyibilika and Dumisani Meslane, in the space of two minutes to yellow-cards due to infringements at the breakdown but with 10 minutes to go Kotze was sent from the field.
Border took advantage of Kotze’s sending off to pick up a penalty try, thanks to an early tackle, with flyhalf Clifford Hodgson kicking the conversion to take the score to 41-19.
With less than a minute of the match remaining the Valke showed admirable spirit to score two tries, through flank Eves Bashiya and replacement wing Dieter de la Porte, to earn themselves a bonus point for four tries.
Valke – Tries: Wensley Mbanje, Hendrik Knoetze, Eves Bashiya, Dieter de la Porte. Conversion: Jonathan Jacobs. Penalties: Tsepo Kokoali (3).
Border Bulldogs – Tries: Lolo Waka (2), Buhle Mxunyelwa, Dumisani Meslane, Dumisani Matyeshana, Penalty Try. Conversions: Reinhard Gerber (5), Clifford Hodgson. Penalties: Gerber (2).