Bulldogs down the Griffons
September 02, 2016

An impressive showing from Border Bulldogs fullback Masixole Banda helped them to a grand 41-24 win over the visiting Down Touch Griffons in their Currie Cup first division match at the BCM Stadium in East London on Friday night.

The win sees the Bulldogs move into second place on the log, putting them in a superb position to qualify for the knock outs with two matches of the pool stage remaining.

The Griffons however will need to win their final pool game next week to ensure their passage into the semis.

Banda contributed 16 points for the Bulldogs in the game through a try, penalty and four conversions, while flyhalf Oliver Zono scored a brace in a solid showing.

Griffons flyhalf George Whitehead tried to keep them in the game with his boot, as he punished the Bulldogs indiscipline with four penalties, especially early in the second half, while also slotting a conversion for a personal tally of 14 points The Bulldogs however proved their mettle outscoring the visitors six tries to two in the end.

The Bulldogs set the tone with an early try as Zono scored his first in the third minute, with Banda adding the extres.

The Griffons however hit back with centre Japie Nel going over for an unconverted try in the 14th minute to cut the deficit to two points.

The Bulldogs responded immediately as two minutes later flank Onke Dubase scored a converted try, and while they then stretched their lead through Zono's second try in the 24th minute and Banda's solid boot as he slotted the conversion and added a penalty a few minutes later.

Griffons lock Gavin Annandale scored in the 31st minute with Whitehead converting and that kept the visitors in the match at 24-12 at the break.

Whitehead then began the second period slotting three penalties in the first 10 minutes to bring the Griffons within three points, only for Banda to score in the 52nd minute, and miss the conversion.

A yellow card to Border inside centre Lunga Dumezweni along with Whitehead's fourth penalty, both in the 61st minute made the score 29-24 and gave the Griffons a chance of forcing a result.

But the Bulldogs had other ideas as their defence held firm and they did not concede another point while a man down and once back to 15 men they ran in two more tries in the final eight minutes to wing Siphosenkosi Nofemele and reserve back Michael Makase, with Banda converting one to claim the superb win.


Bulldogs: Tries: Oliver Zono (2), Onke Dubase, Masixole Banda, Siphosenkosi Nofemele, Michael Makase. Conversions: Masixole Banda (4). Penalty: Masixole Banda

Griffons: Tries: Gavin Annandale, Japie Nel. Conversion: George Whitehead. Penalties: George Whitehead (4).


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