Border finally get a win
The Border Bulldogs faithful had plenty to shout about on Friday when they recorded their first Vodacom Cup win of the year with a 19-16 (halftime 12-10) victory over the Griffons in East London.
The Bulldogs, winless after two rounds and on the receiving end of an 84-9 hiding from Griquas last week, bounced back in admirable fashion to eke out the narrowest of wins against the men from Welkom.
Veteran centre Chumani Booi led the charge, winning the man of the match award for outstanding leadership and commitment on defence, but in truth this was a 22-man effort that produced the result on the night.
The Bulldogs held a slender two-point lead at the break after tries by scrumhalf Ntando Kebe in the fourth minute and Booi on the stroke of halftime.
Kebe’s effort, which saw him pick up the ball from a ruck before scooting across the line, was converted by centre Byron Mcguigan.
But the Griffons struck back with a try of their own by wing Ricardo Pietersen, converted by flyhalf Tiaan van Wyk, who also kicked a first-half penalty.
The second half unfolded in dramatic style as Van Wyk kicked two penalties in the 75th and 80th minutes to give the visitors a 16-12 lead deep in injury time.
But the home team weren’t to be denied, lock Samora Fihlani crashing over for replacement Ntabeni Dukisa to convert and send the small crowd home with renewed faith in a Bulldogs resurgence.
Border 19 – Tries: Ntando Kebe, Chumani Booi, Samora Fihlani. Conversions: Byron Mcguigan, Ntabeni Dukisa.
Griffons 16 – Try: Ricardo Pietersen. Conversion: Tiaan van Wyk. Penalties: Van Wyk (3).