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Discipline scuppers Bulldogs
Brendon Atwell
MWP
July 16, 2016

Two yellow cards cost the Border Bulldogs dearly as DHL Western Province recorded a resounding 52-26 (halftime 19-16) bonus-point provincial tournament victory at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

Border led 26-23 midway through the second stanza but lock Lindokuhle Welemu was shown a yellow card after both teams had been warned by the referee for repeated infringements. With Welemu in the sin-bin, Province were able to run in three unanswered tries to open up a 19-point advantage.

Western Province captain Tim Whitehead opened the scoring with a well-worked try with just three minutes on the clock as the inside centre stepped inside to beat two defenders over the line. Fullback Grant Hermanus converted as Province led 7-0 before Border flyhalf, Masixole Banda, registered the visitor's first points with a penalty just three minutes later.

The men from George took the lead midway through the first half as centre Lunga Dumezweni crashed over the line after a good, patient build-up. Banda, who slotted four penalties and two conversions, added the extra points as Border claimed a three-point advantage.

Banda slotted two more penalties to hand the lead back to the visitors after hooker Chad Solomon had wrestled the ball over the line for Province's second try. With WP inside their own half, a quick-tap penalty from scrumhalf Godlen Masimla had the home side charging down the field to almost score in the corner. But Masimla picked up from the base of the ruck and dived over the line on the stroke of halftime.

Hermanus was unable to convert from near the touchline as the sides entered the changeroom with Province leading by three points.

With WP losing their captain early in the second period through concussion, Border regained the lead with their second try and definitely the try of the match. Fullback Sonwabiso Mqalo joined the backline and took the ball at pace, beat two defenders before side-stepping another two Province defenders to score under the poles for a converted try.

The lead changed hands yet again as Edwil van der Merwe dashed down the lefthand touchline, scything through three defenders to score Province's bonus-point try. With Hermanus missing the conversion, WP led by just a point but Banda regained the lead for the visitors just two minutes later with his fourth penalty attempt.

That's when the wheels came off as Welemu received his marching orders with Van der Merwe registering his second try and replacement hooker Culllen Collopy and Hermanus also notching up five-pointers.

Border suffered another setback five minutes before the final whistle when their captain, flank Siya Mdaka, was also shown a yellow card for a side entry into a maul on his own tryline. Province mauled the resultant penalty close to the line and replacement scrumhalf Justin Phillips, dived over the line for the home side's eighth try.

The win moves Western Province to the top of the qualifying log, above Griquas on points difference while the Bulldogs languish fourth from bottom.

Scorers

DHL Western Province - Tries: Edwil van der Merwe (2), Time Whitehead, Chad Solomon, Godlen Masimla, Cullen Collopy, Grant Hermanus, Justin Phillips; Conversions: Hermanus (5).

Border Bulldogs - Tries: Lunga Dumezweni, Sonwabiso Mqalo; Conversions: Masixole Banda (2); Penalties: Banda (4).

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