Port Elizabeth - A late drop goal by Ntabeni Dukisa saved the EP Kings any blushes as
they edged Border Bulldogs 9-6 (half-time 3-3) in a scrappy and dull
Absa Currie Cup First Division rugby match at NMB stadium in Port
Elizabeth on Friday.
According to the supersport.com website, with two minutes remaining on the stadium clock and the scores
dead-locked at 6-6, Dukisa disected the uprights with a well-taken drop
goal to earn his team four points for a victory they did not come close
For all their possession for the last 60 minutes of the match the Kings
battled to dominate their opponents. There was a myriad of handling
errors committed by the home side and at one stage they looked headed
for their fourth consecutive home defeat.
EP rested their Southern Kings players who remained with the union after
the Super Rugby promotion-relegation loss against the MTN Lions. It
should not have mattered with the depth they possess in Port Elizabeth
for this level of rugby but it almost did on Friday night.
The Bulldogs players, almost forgotten partners in the Southern Kings
franchise this past Super Rugby season, approached the start of the
match with fire in their bellies.
In fact, they probably edged the opening 15 minutes. EP slowly began to
claw their way back into the match by reverting to retaining possession
and canning the tactical kicking approach of the initial stages.
However, Border's defence still held firm despite the Kings launching a
series of attacks at their tryline. Flank Mpho Mbiyozo did burst through
a ruck and looked alomst certain to score before being held up over the
It took all of 37 minutes before the first points of the game were
registered when EP fullback Ntabeni Dukisa slotted a penalty. He and
Border fullback Dale Sabbagh had each missed earlier attempts in the
half. Sabbagh, however, opened his account on the halftime hooter with a
long distance penalty of his own.
Border took advantage of the situation in the second half to take a
surprise lead 6-3 after 52 minutes when Sabbagh slotted another penalty.
It took another 20 minutes for EP to level the scores through the boot
of Dukisa. A stalemate looked very likely until the Dukisa's moment of
EP - Penalties: Ntabeni Dukisa (2); Drop goal: Ntabeni Dukisa.
Border Bulldogs - Penalties: Dale Sabbagh (2).