WP too strong for Bulldogs
Peter Martin
March 28, 2014

Western Province beat home team Border Bulldogs 29-16 in a highly entertaining Vodacom Cup match at Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Friday, taking a bonus point after scoring five tries to Border’s one.

The halftime score was 17-13 in favour of the visitors.

The ever-improving Border, who were certainly not overawed by their more illustrious opponents, played well as a team and appear to be gelling into an excellent outfit.

Their narrow 18-17 win last week over the Simba XV has certainly given them plenty of confidence.

Border’s nuggety scrumhalf Mario Noordman played well and set up a number of exciting movements for the Bulldogs while his bullet-like passes kept his back-line moving nicely.

In the second minute he used a chip-kick wisely about 25 metres out and a lineout was formed virtually on the WP tryline, but their defence held and a penalty pushed the home side back.

Province opened the scoring when their strong No 8, Rayn Smid, dived over in the sixth minute after a fine movement along the right side by the Province backs. Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen converted.

Three minutes later WP were penalised for hands in the ruck and Border centre Jeffrey Taljard made no mistake with an excellent penalty about 30 metres out.

Border kept up their attack and Noordman was rewarded when he dived over close to the right-hand post for Taljard to add the two points. Taljard was on target with a further penalty moments later and Border held a six-point cushion at 13-7.

However, disaster struck the visitors. Their tough prop, Deacon Chowles, was getting some urgent attention after a heavy tackle and eventually the stretcher-bearers had to take him off and he was replaced by Christo van Wyk.

Just before halftime Noordman made his first error when his relieving kick close to the Border line was charged down and, as a result, Smid went over for his second try but Van Aswegan missed the conversion.

WP scored again exactly on halftime when fullback Adrian Roberts swooped on the ball and forced his way over and again Van Aswegen failed with the conversion.

Both teams went on the attack after the break and in the eighth minute Taljard missed a chance with a penalty kick some 30 metres out after the Province backline was adjudged off-side, pulling the ball wide to the left side of the posts.

The first score after halftime came after 21 minutes and again it was a try to WP. Their wing J P Lewis was on hand to dive over after some sloppy Border defence, which had more holes than a slab of Swiss cheese.

This time Roberts was successful with the conversion.

Province tried a few scissors-movements and it was Lewis who, seeing a huge gap again in virtually the same position on the right side, barged over in the right-hand corner for his second try, but reserve back Janco Gunter missed a difficult conversion.

Border narrowed the gap to 13 points after 34 minutes when substitute centre Neill Jacobs succeeded with a penalty from about 40 metres out.

The last few minutes saw Province attacking strongly, but Border held on determinedly to prevent any further scoring.


Border Bulldogs 16: Tries to scrumhalf Mario Noordman. Conversion: Centre Taljard. Penalty: Taljard (2), reserve back Niell Jacobs.

Western Province 29: Tries to eighthman Rayn Smid (2), fullback Adrian Roberts, wing J P Lewis (2). Conversions: Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen, Roberts.

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