Bulldogs down Sharks XV
April 15, 2016
The Border Bulldogs secured their first bonus-point win of the season when they downed the Cell C Sharks XV 37-32 (halftime 22-3) in their provincial tournament encounter at the BCM Stadium in East London on Friday evening.

The home side had Makazole Mapimpi to thank as the right-winger ran in four tries while flyhalf Oliver Zono added another two. The Sharks XV dotted down four times but the Bulldogs gave themselves room to breathe with a five-minute blitz midway through the first half with two converted tries.

Both sides traded penalties before Mapimpi dashed in for his first try of the evening in the corner which Masixole Banda was unable to convert. Innocent Radebe failed to reduce the deficit to two points when the flyhalf missed a penalty after 23 minutes.

That miss proved costly as the Bulldogs ran in two converted tries without reply to hand the hosts a valuable 19-point lead at the break. Zono darted his way over the line with Banda converting before Mapimpi weaved his way through the defence to cross for his second score just four minutes later with the conversion from Banda spot on.

The visitors started the second stanza on fire when lock Tijiuee Uanivi barged his way over in the corner for an unconverted try just three minutes after the restart. Tighthead prop, Ruan Kramer then crossed the whitewash nine minutes later to reduce the deficit to seven points as Radebe converted.

But Border were not to be outdone as Zono crashed over for his second five-pointer which was unconverted. The Sharks XV hit back almost immediately through replacement lock Wian Vosloo and replacement flyhalf Tristan Tedder reduced the gap to just five points with the conversion.

Despite the Buldogs’ captain and flank, Siya Mdaka, receiving a yellow card on 68 minutes, the home side were not deterred as Mapimpi registered his hat-trick in the corner for an unconverted try. The visitors managed to hit back through their own captain and flank Khaya Majola which Tedder converted.

But Border were just too strong as Mapimpi rounded off a good move for an unconverted score with three minutes left on the clock. Tedder landed a penalty oin the stroke of full time to hand the Sharks XV an extra bonus point for being within seven points of the Bulldogs.

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