Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Absa Currie Cup

Derick Kuun © Gallo Images

Injuries put damper on Bulls win



The Vodacom Blue Bulls grabbed five valuable Absa Currie Cup points in Potchefstroom on Saturday, but struggled to beat a game Leopards side 39-26.

The Bulls coaches will tell you that the five points are all that will matter, but a long injury list for a game played on a field that looked like it was a beach pitch more than a grass surface and a heavy penalty count against them will be on their minds as they head back to Pretoria.

The Bulls did do the job they came to Potchefstroom to do, but the old wives tale that smaller unions usually incur the wrath of the referee was totally blown out of the water by visiting Australian ref Nathan Pearce, who frustrated the Bulls by only being consistent in the way he penalised them throughout.

You have to wonder if there wasn’t concern at SA Rugby at the state of the Olën Park pitch, which was just sand in some areas, while most of the pitch looked like a piece of yellow veld that had been sheared for the occasion, hardly what Currie Cup teams are used to these days.

The Bulls paid heavily as they lost Juandré Kruger (hand injury) in the first five minutes, then saw captain Gary Botha (ankle), winger Jaco van der Westhuyzen (knee), prop Werner Kruger (knee) and Fudge Mabeta (neck) sitting on the sidelines before tactical substitutions were even on the cards.

OPEN AND INSPIRING GAME

Still, while the pitch was a concern, it didn’t take away from both teams’ willingness to play an open and inspiring game.

On countless occasions both teams shunned kicks at goal to go for the sidelines and it was the Leopards who struck early as Walter Venter scythed through the Bulls defence to put Dumisani Matyeshane over for the first try.

Clayton Durand added the conversion and a penalty shortly afterwards to give his side an early 10-0 lead but it wasn’t long before the Bulls struck back through a Derick Kuün try after Gerrit Janse van Velzen barged his way upfield.

The Leopards had hardly caught their breath when the Bulls lineout drive rumbled upfield, and when it finally was stopped, the ball was given quick hands to the wing for Jaco van der Westhuyzen to level the scores.

Durand put his side in the lead for the last time on the half hour, but an error shortly afterwards gave the Bulls the advantage they needed to take control of the game.

Replacement winger Deon Scholtz failed to control a grubber and knocked on into the hands of the oncoming Bulls players, who sent it wide for Jaco Pretorius to run in untouched.

On the stroke of half time, the Bulls struck again, turning down a penalty to rather go for the line and they were rewarded as they first sucked in the defence, then sent the ball wide for replacement winger Hayden Groepes to score in the opposite corner.

The Bulls started the second half in fine style as the Leopards’ lineouts started to crumble, with Van Velze stealing a good ball in the air on the half-way line which fell perfectly in Francois Hougaard’s arms. In a moment, the Bok halfback was through the gap and opened up the throttle to outrun the defence and score a great try.

At 31-13 the Bulls looked in control of the game but the penalties started to take their toll against them as the Leopards grew bolder on attack.

Two more penalties by Durand brought them within 12 points of the Bulls before Jacques-Louis Potgieter extended the lead with a penalty of his own back to 15 points.

A wonderful counter attack paid dividends for them two minutes from time as Jovan Bowles and Matyeshane combined perfectly to put Cecil Dumond over in the corner and give them some hope.

But from the final kickoff, the Leopards lost the ball forward, and Stefan Watermeyer wrestled his way over the line to make the scoreline look more respectable for the victors.

Scorers

Blue Bulls – tries: Derick Kuün, Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Jaco Pretorius, Hayden Groepes, Francois Hougaard, Stefan Watermeyer. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (3). Penalties: Potgieter (1)

Leopards – tries: Dumisane Matyeshane, Cecil Dumond. Conversions: Clayton Durand (2). Penalties: Durand (4)

Shop

SA rugby Annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.00
Victor - My Journey
As the most capped Springbok ever, Victor Matfield is a national hero who transcends rugby provincialism and has fans across the world
R198.44
The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R110.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Gavin Rich
Pollard should get the Kallis treatment
The past few days have provided another example of how quickly the mood of the South African rugby...

Tony Johnson
NZ, SA dish up another great test
Another tremendous test, and further evidence of the massive respect between New Zealand and South...

Brenden Nel
Boks v NZ battles - bring them on!
It came as an innocuous question from an All Black supporter on Twitter, but it summed up the...

Alistair Hargreaves
At Saracens we do things a little differently
When David Strettle crossed the try line in the final seconds of our game last weekend, there was a...