Currie Cup

EP get early Bulldogs Currie Cup victory

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Eastern Province registered their first win of the rugby season when they defeated arch-rivals the Border Bulldogs 16-10, after leading 6-0 at half-time, in their opening Currie Cup  match played on the Central field in Uitenhage on Friday night.

The home side deserved the win and it was a timely boost in their efforts to challenge for top honours. Flyhalf Johan van Niekerk proved the hero for the Elephants with his goalkicking exploits.

He snapped over a drop early on and then succeeded with a penalty. In the second half Van Niekerk added another penalty before converting the try scored by flank Jacques Potgieter.

Unfortunately for EP, their captain and lock Willie Bower was shown the yellow card by referee Jason Japhta for indiscipline midway through the second half. This enabled the Bulldogs to fight back with centre Jeffrey Taljaard opening his team’s account with a penalty.

However, they were unable to add to their tally during Bower’s absence.

But Border fought back gallantly in the closing stages and deservedly added to their score when centre Thabo Ratyana crossed over for a try in the corner.
 
Taljaard succeeded with the difficult conversion to put his team back in contention.

But EP kept the visitors pinned down in their own 22m for the last few minutes of the game to ensure victory.

Van Niekerk received the Man of the Match award for his 11 valuable points through his boot. A feature of the game was the Elephants’ solid defence and they will go into their next match with a boost in confidence.

Sapa

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