Elephants crush Bulldogs
Border licking wounds after heavy onslaught by rampaging EP herd
Border’s Bulldogs were left battered and bruised when they crashed to a heavy 52-3 defeat to the EP Elephants at the Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele on Sunday.
Hurting after a heavy 49-12 defeat against Free State in their previous game, the Elephants took control from the outset to emerge with the bragging rights in this coastal derby.
The Elephants crossed for eight tries in a dominant display against the men from East London.
It was another setback for the struggling Bulldogs, who were gored 52-0 by the Boland Cavaliers in their last SuperSport Rugby Challenge outing in East London.
The Elephants had been expecting the Bulldogs to fight like a wounded animal, but they put up only limited resistance against the home side.
To their credit, the Bulldogs never stopped fighting and managed to hold EP at bay for a long spell in the second half.
After building a handsome 31-3 lead at the break, the Elephants got the second half off to a perfect start when Fijian Meli Rokoua broke the Border line to set Zingisa April up for his second try.
Ntabeni Dukisa made no mistake with the conversion to put EP into a 45-3 lead after 44 minutes.
The Elephants started like a rampaging herd and within five minutes raced to a 10-0 lead thanks to tries from wing Athenkosi Mayinje and fullback Michael Botha, who tore through the Bulldogs defence.
Border had a chance to put their first points on the board after 11 minutes, but flyhalf Aphiwe Stemele pushed his kick wide of the posts.
The Elephants fired themselves into a 15-0 lead after 18 minutes when powerful Kings No 8 Zingisa April crashed over the Bulldogs tryline after pressure from the home side.At this point the Elephants were running riot, and loose forward Rynardt van Wyk put the finishing touches to a sparkling move which involved several players.Trailing 24-0, the Bulldogs scored their first points when Stemele kicked a penalty to give them a glimmer of hope.Whenever EP got their hands on the ball they spread it wide and the Border defence started to feel the pressure of the onslaught on their tryline.The livewire Botha, always full of running, had a second first-half try to his name after fine interplay between the EP backs.The cards have been heavily stacked against Border this season after off-field problems at the union that almost resulted in the team not playing in the competition.The Bulldogs began their campaign with a bonus-point win over the Zimbabwe Academy side before losing to Western Province and Boland.If the Elephants are to have any chance of reaching the Rugby Challenge final, they will have to win all their remaining games against the Sharks XV, Western Province and Zimbabwe Academy side.After four games, the Elephants have won twice and may be left to rue their defeats against the Boland Cavaliers and the Free State XV.