Visiting Leopards maul Bulldogs
May 13, 2016

On a cool, windless Friday evening at Buffalo City Stadium in East London, the visiting Leopards had things mostly their own way against a disappointing Border Bulldogs side, winning their Currie Cup encounter 34-22.

The star of their team was without a doubt their fullback Rhyno Smith who finished the game with a personal tally of 19 points which included a try, a penalty, four conversions and a dropped goal.

The dropped goal was a prodigious kick, taken from about 55 metres out and which took the wind out of the Bulldogs’ sails and quietened the home crowd supporters.

It was Border who opened the scoring with a penalty to fullback Masixole Banda in the third minute but four minutes later Leopards hooker Wilmar Arnoldi stormed over for a try in the left hand corner after a carefully-laid plan at a line-out which caught the Border defenders napping.

Smith converted, the Leopards led 7-3 and never relinquished the lead thereafter.

Then, after 14 minutes the strongly-built Leopards centre Johan Deysel barged his through a sea of defenders for the second try of the match, which was again converted by Smith.

On the night Smith had his kicking boots on as he only missed one long-range penalty.

Just before halftime, Border went on the attack, one of the rare occasions they were able to get close to the Leopards’ line in the stanza, and they were awarded three penalties which all went to line-outs as the home team searched for a try. Eventually the sturdy prop Johannes Jonker managed to dot down next to the right-hand post, and Banda converted.

At halftime the score was 20-10 in favour of the visitors.

In the second half each team scored two tries.

For Border replacement forward, big, burly Nkosikhona Nofuma barged through the Leopards’ forwards to score, Banda converted. Then the hard-working Leopards flank Loftus Morrison, from a melee in front of the posts, kept the scorers busy with a fine effort which Smith converted.

With the minutes ticking by and the game drawing to an end, Smith again had the crowd on its feet with a spectacular chase after a high kick. He beat the Border defence and dotted down about 10 metres from the left-hand post and then converted his own try.

But one minute later Border wing Makazole Mapimpi ran through the Leopards’ defence to dot down in the left-hand corner but Banda missed the difficult conversion.


Border Bulldogs 22: Tries: Johannes Jonker, Nkoskhona Nofuma, Makazola Mapimpi. Penalty: Masixole Banda, Conversion: Banda (2)

Leopards 34: Tries to hooker Wilmar Arnoldi, Johan Deysel, Loftus Morrison, Rhyno Smith, Penalties: Smith. Conversions: Smith (4), Dropped goal: Smith.

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