Easy win for Bulls, but still work to do
The Vodacom Blue Bulls started their defence of their Absa Currie Cup title in impressive fashion, but strolled their way through the second half to beat the Pumas 38-15 at Loftus Versfeld.
It was mission accomplished in every way for the home side, as they took
their bonus point in just 19 minutes and then packed up shop.
As the first
game of the match this was to be expected, but it will trouble the Bulls
as they could have racked up a lot more points.
The Pumas were truly shellshocked in the opening minutes, as their
defensive lines didn’t hold firm as they hoped they would, and the home
side overran them with ease.
But as soon as the Bulls had their bonus point, and Stefan Dippenaar’s
fifth try in the 23rd minute put the result beyond doubt, the game
disintergrated into a muddle of errors which frustrated the small 6 000
crowd who turned up despite the icy weather.
To the Pumas' credit, they certainly tried their level best to make a
contest of it, but both sides were negative at times, with more errors
than good moments hardly making this a game to remember.
What will be remembered will be the slick movements of the first 20
minutes, when Springbok fullback Jaco van der Westhuyzen opened the
scoring for the home side with a slick slight of hand to send John Mametsa
away for his first try.
Stefan Watermeyer scored shortly afterwards and the writing was on the
wall when prop Dean Greyling toed a ball through for Mametsa to pick up
and take the score even higher.
Greyling barged over from close range shortly afterwards and Dippenaar
made it five tries in less than a half hour when he found a gap on the
outside to score.
The Pumas had to wait for scrumhalf Tian Meyer to bust through around a
lineout to add to their opening penalty by Ricardo Croy.
At 31-10 the Bulls looked as if they would run away with it in the second
half, but uncharacteristically seemed to idle rather than roar, as both
sides traded weak punches and referee Stuart Berry’s whistle was the order
of the day.
To be fair, the Bulls will feel aggrieved at some of the decisions at the
breakdown, but it didn’t take away from their own error count, which was
way too high on the night
Deon Stegmann finally broke the duck in the second half, rolling a maul
over from close range and Allistair Ketteldas added some respectability
for the visitors.
But while the Bulls walked away with the five points on offer, they will
know they have a lot more work to do if they are to attain the triple this
year and defend their Absa Currie Cup title in the process.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – tries: John Mametsa (2), Stefan Watermeyer, Dean
Greyling, Stefan Dippenaar, Deon Stegmann. Conversions: Jacques-Louis
Potgieter (3), Francois Brummer (1)
Pumas – tries: Tian Meyer , Allistair Ketteldas.
Conversion: Croy. Penalties: Ricardo Croy