The fairytale of 2020 Eastern Cape super 14 rugby competition’s wildcard, African Bombers RFC, continued on Saturday when they demolished Gardens 37-16 to register their second victory in two matches.
Played in front of a capacity crowd at Zwide stadium, the match lived up to the expectations of the local rugby community who expected nothing less than a war of attrition.
Bombers made their intentions clear from the onset when outside centre Xolela Payi sliced through Gardens backline to score untouched from a beautiful lineout move from his forwards. He converted his try for a 7-0 lead after 7 minutes.
From that kick-off their impressive loose-forward Dumisani Meslani ran through Gardens forwards only to be stopped inside opposition 22m, from a resulting ruck Gardens was penalized and Bombers fullback Ayanda Hanabe slotted it over for a 10-0 lead.
However as expected Gardens was never gonna lie down and let Bombers do as they please they responded with an unconverted try of their own by scrumhalf Luciano Grootboom and a penalty by flyhalf Ruben De Vos to narrow Bombers lead to two points at 10-8. But Bombers Payi dotted down again for his second try Hanabe converted to stretch their lead to 17-8. Hanabe slotted another penalty at the stroke of halftime to take the score to 20-8.
After the break De Vos slotted over a penalty for Gardens to narrow the lead to 20-11. At this stage the game really opened up. Payi completed his hatrick in the 50th minutes when he connected with a flat pass from his inside centre to score in the corner. Hanabe conversion made it 27-11 to Bombers. Hanabe scored one for himself immidiately and converted to extend Bombers lead to 34-11.
Gardens scored a consolation try whose conversion was missed by De Vos to trail Bombers 34-16. But Bombers had a last say in the match when Hanabe slotted over a penalty for a 37-16 final score.
Bombers are now on top of Group B with nine points, whilst Gardens is second last with 1point.
Other EC Super 14 2nd round Results:
Swallow 13-9 Police
T/Stars 23-24 Kfontein
Harlequins 45-12 Leopards
Park 17-21 Progress
Ncerha 34-12 Breakers