The Blue Bulls pulled away from KwaZulu-Natal in the second half to record a 46-22 victory at Craven Week in Polokwane on Monday.
A breeze got up later in the morning at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, and it got stronger. KwaZulu Natal played with the wind in the first half and the half ended 17-all. But then the wind was behind the Blue Bulls for the second half and they sped away from the men from the coast.
Mind you, muscle played a big part in it and those two magnificent locks did much to unlock the victory for their side with their domination of the line-outs. The Blue Bulls dominated the line-outs and the match in the second half.
KwaZulu Natal started well. When the Blue Bulls did what Blue Bulls do - mauled the line-out and then did one-pass phases, KwaZulu Natal repulsed them, and then they had an attack of their own as Morné Joubert raced down the right wing. The ventrally went wide left and had an inviting overlap but a big forward got in the way, took the tackle and overlap expired. There was a break by Marcell Coetzee that was wrecked on a knock-on.
It came then as no surprise when big eighthman Ayron Schramm broke through the midfield and surged with power to score a try which flyhalf Tristan Tedder converted 7-0. Not long afterwards SA Schools centre Jurie Linde raced over. 7-7.
Tedder kicked a penalty and then those magnificent locks, RG Snyman of Affies and Hyron Andrews of Garsfontein, took charge for a try by the latter. 10-10 after 20 minutes.
The Blue Bulls then went into the lead when their backs burst into action and Jade Solomons scored on the right. This time Ivan van Zyl goaled but just before half-time Schramm got his second try. 17-17 at the break.
Right at the start of the second half, from a scrum on their right inside their own half Franco Naudé sped through on a sharp break, drew the fullback and gave to Linde running free on his left and the centre scored. Van Zyl converted and he had the easy task of converting the penalty try awarded to the Blue Bulls when Joubert tackled a man without the ball, which also earned him time in the sin bin. Suddenly it was starting to look like a hiding at 31-17 but KwaZulu Natal were not done.
Inside his own half Jaco Coetzee of Glenwood, stumbling but powerful, broke down the right and gave to his school captain Mzwandile Mazibuko who showed a great turn of speed for a flank in going over in the right-hand corner. 31-22 with 17 minutes to play but it was not a time of opportunity for KwaZulu Natal as the Blue Bulls marched to victory.
First Van Zyl kicked a penalty and then George-Lee Erasmus raced down the left wing and played inside to Naudé who raced over for the try. 39-22.
Van Zyl missed the conversion but then he scored a try, not with some dancing celebration but with a coy look of embarrassment. KwaZulu Natal put the ball into a scrum five metres from their line. The Blue Bulls got a shove on and the ball burst out of the scrum on KwaZulu Natal's left. Van Zyl picked it up and had the easy task of falling over for the try which he converted to end the match.
Man of the Match: Tall, sleek, speedy Jurie Linde, and Apollo of a centre.
Try: Schramm 2, Mazibuko
Cons: Tedder 2
For the Blue Bulls:
Tries: Linde 2, Andrews, Solomons, penalty try, Naude, Van Zyl
Cons: Van Zyl 4
Pen: Van Zyl
Yellow card: Morne Joubert (Foul play, 46 mins)
Blue Bulls: 15 Eduan Keyter, 14 Jade Solomons, 13 Jurie Linde, 12 Franco Naude, 11 George-Lee Erasmus, 10 Jemeel Warnick, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Salmon van Huyssteen, 7 Wildon Marsh, 6 Calvonn Allison, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Johan van Wyk, 2 Francois Steyn, 1 Willem Eloff.
Replacements: 16 Peter Toerien, 17 Daniel van Wyk, 18 Vean Roodt, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Ethan Sias, 22 Jose Shaw.
Kwazulu-Natal: 15 Cornelis Vermaak, 14 Morne Joubert, 13 Marcel Coetzee, 12 Akhona Nela, 11 Sphamandla Ngcobo, 10 Tristan Tedder, 9 Reece McHardy, 8 Ayron Schramm, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Mzwandile Mazibuko, 5 Daniel du Preez, 4 Ntokozo Vidima, 3 Jacobus Tredoux, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Njabulo Gumede.
Replacements: 16 Roy Meaker, 17 Thabiso Zuma, 18 Mzamo Majola, 19 Jacobus Coetzee, 20 Kelvin Elder, 21 Kurt Webster, 22 Banele Ngwenya.
Referee: Daniel Fortuin
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Local