East London - The Border Bulldogs showed little bite and were unable to knock the spots off the visiting Leopards in a lacklustre Absa Currie Cup First Division match played at Buffalo City stadium on Saturday.
The visitors won 26-10 in a game that seldom rose to any great heights throughout in placid, windless, warm conditions.
The halftime score was 14-0 to the Leopards.
At the start it was all Border doing the attacking. They got close to scoring a try after a neat line movement down the right hand side but right wing Andrew van Wyk was forced into touch.
The Leopards then infringed by not rolling away some 28 metres out straight in front of the Border posts. The perpetrator was former Selborne College and SA Under 18 lock Luvuyisi Lusaseni, who learnt all his skills on the Border, but the Bulldogs fullback Cecil Dumond hooked the ball to the left of the posts and a chance went a-begging for the home team.
Englelbrecht, however, showed he had brought his kicking boots with him and he succeeded with three penalties during the half, all from more or less the same spot about 30 to 35 metres out on the left side of the field.
One penalty also resulted in Bulldogs lock Stephan Gerber being sin-binned for dangerous play with Gerber missing the last 10 minutes of the half.
After some attacking moves well defended by Border, with just a few minutes left for play in the first half the Leopards managed to breach the Border defence and skipper, lock Brendon Snyman crossed over about 20 metres from the posts, but Engelbrecht missed the conversion.
On the stroke of halftime Engelbrecht missed a drop attempt some 40 metres out.
From the whistle for the second half, a strong run by Leopards wing Luther Obi caught the Bulldogs by surprise as he scythed through the defence like a hot knife through butter after 30 seconds and the score advanced by seven points after an easy conversion from Englebrecht.
Then action moved to the Leopards half and Border were rewarded for some good work when, from broken play, the ball shot out to the left and winger Shane Spring dived over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The rest of the game was purely academic with some aimless kicking from both sides, but with time running out, first the Leopards added to their score when replacement flank Bernie van Rooyen barged over from a melee on the Border line after the visitors opted to kick out from a penalty some 15 metres out. Engelbrecht missed the conversion.
Then, with four minutes left on the clock, replacement loose-forward for the Bulldogs, Siya Mdaka dived over in the corner but again Dumond missed the conversion.
The final score was a fair reflection of the game as the Bulldogs at no time appeared to be in the running for a win.
Border Bulldogs 10: Tries: Wing Shane Spring, replacement lose-forward Siya Mdaka.
Leopards 26: Tries: Lock Brendon Snyman, wing Luther Obi, replacement flank Bernie van Rooyen.
Penalties: Flyhalf Adriaan Engelbrecht (3)
Conversions: Engelbrecht (1)