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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Warrick Gelant © BackPage Pix

Bulls down Jaguares



The Vodacom Bulls finished off a successful pre-season with a workmanlike 21-12 victory over the Jaguares on the Loftus Versfeld B field in Pretoria on Saturday.

While the result will be less important than the minutes played, the Bulls successfully reintroduced their Springbok players into playing conditions and had a decent return for their time on the field.

It was the fringe players that caught the eye more in the first half, with a number of forwards putting in some clear claims for their squad places later on the competition.

Those who stood out include former Kings flanker Thembelani Bholi, flanker Marco van Staden, lock Ruben van Heerden and the halfback pairing of Embrose Papier and Manie Libbock.

Winger Andell Loubser was also impressive out wide, and scored a beautiful try from a kick-pass from Libbock, after Papier ripped the ball from a Jaguares player early on in the game to open the scoring.

Van Staden burrowed his way over from a lineout drive to add his name to the scoresheet as the Bulls led 14-0 under Lood de Jager’s leadership. And while they were good on defence and in the loose, the Jaguares scrum put them to the sword early on.

But on 45 minutes the entire team change came on for both sides, and the effect was immediate as the Boks made their mark within three minutes of getting onto the field.

A beautiful pass from Handre Pollard put Jesse Kriel into a gap, with the midfielder throwing a dummy to beat the first defender before putting Warrick Gelant away for a well-worked try.

There was enough from the game to keep John Mitchell satisfied that his charges are on the right track while still having enough to work on in the fortnight that awaits them before their opening game against the Hurricanes.

The Bulls have a bye next week while the Jaguares face the Stormers in their opening game.

As the game wore on the Jaguares grew in confidence while the Bulls showed their rust, resulting in two late tries for the visitors.

Julian Montoya scored for the Jaguares late in the game while Javier Ortego Desio dotted down on the final whistle.

But it mattered not, the pre-season is more about experimentation and cohesion than anything else, and in that the Bulls took another step forward.

SCORERS

Vodacom Bulls

Tries: Andell Loubscher, Marco van Staden, Warrick Gelant

Conversions: Manie Libbock (2), Handre Pollard

Jaguares

Tries: Julian Montoya, Javier Ortega Desio

Conversions: Juan-Martin Hernandez



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