Bulldogs regain their bite
Peter Martin
May 27, 2016

The Border Bulldogs, in a do-or-die effort, beat the visiting Hino Valke 29-24 in an entertaining, robust provincial tournament game at Buffalo City Stadium in East London on a cool Friday evening with little wind.

The halftime score was Border 15 Valke 10.

The game was barely two minutes old when Border centre, Lunga Dumezweni, from 20 metres out, pinned his ears back and ran straight to score a magnificent try under the posts for fullback Masixole Banda to add the conversion.

But the Valke hit back with a try by prop Henri Boshoff which flyhalf Karlo Aspeling, playing on his old home ground, converted.

Banda had a superb game for Border. Soon after the Valke try he joined the backline and scored in the far left corner to have the home crowd screaming. He then converted his own try from a difficult angle.

Just before halftime, the Valke camped on the Border line for a good five or six minutes and they were eventually rewarded with a penalty which Aspeling duly kicked over.

Moments later Banda hit the right-hand post with a long-range penalty, but the ball bounced back into play as the halftime whistle blew.

The home team went into the break thoroughly deserving their five-point lead.

But straight after the start of the second half, the Valke went on the attack and their big lock, Shane Kirkwood, barged over for a try which Aspeling converted, giving the Valke a two-point lead, the first time they had led in the match.

After that, the lead see-sawed and Banda, following a melee on the Valke line, scored his second try of the game, again in the left-hand corner, and again his kick was spot-on with a brilliant conversion.

There was just time for two more tries before the exciting match came to an end.

Firstly, replacement forward of the Valke Johan Pretorius scored a neat try, again converted by Aspeling, and the Valke regained the lead at 24-22.

It looked all over for the home side, but they were not done. A concentrated attack on the right flank saw the ball move to the fleet-footed replacement back Makazole Mapimpi, a great favourite with the home crowd, and he stormed all of 25 metres to score in the right-hand corner amid cries of delight from the vociferous crowd.

Replacement fullback Logan Basson, taking his time, converted.

With only minutes left on the clock, the Valke attacked, but the Border defence held and the home team grabbed all the points on offer.


Border Bulldogs 29: Tries: Lunga Dumezweni, Masixole Banda (2), Makazole Mpimpi. Conversions: Banda (2), Logan Basson Penalty: Banda.

Valke 24: Tries Henri Boshoff, Shane Kirkwood, Johan Pretorius. Coversions: Karlo Aspeling (3). Penalty: Aspeling.

Copyright - SA Rugby. All Rights Reserved - Photos by Gallo Images