Bulls steal a late winner at Loftus

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:37

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: Jessie Kriel scored a try in the 73rd minute to gift the Bulls a fortuitous 20-14 win over the hapless Cheetahs in Pretoria on Saturday.

In a game of very ordinary standards, the Cheetahs looked like finally ending their losing streak - as they took an 11-3 lead into the half-time break.

And they managed to hold onto the lead (14-13) going into the final 10 minutes, before a rare moment of brilliance gave the Bulls the winning score.

Turnover ball in midfield gave the home team an attacking opportunity and Jamba Ulengo and Burger Odendaal made ground before Kriel cut inside to score.

Tian Schoeman, deputising at flyhalf for midweek training ground casualty Handré Pollard, converted to complete the scoring at thinly populated Loftus Versfeld stadium.

As was the case last weekend when they defeated the Argentine Jaguares, the Bulls won because they emerged as the better of two poor sides.

"We made a lot of mistakes," admitted heavily bruised skipper and hooker Adriaan Strauss.

"There were a lot of errors.

"Too many of our attacks were lateral and we struggled to find rhythm," added the forward who retired as Springboks captain at the end of last season.

For the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs it was the usual story of being unable to defend a lead, having been 11-3 in front at half-time.

They were 14-13 ahead when Kriel struck to keep the Bulls second in the Africa Two conference with 14 points, 12 less than leaders Stormers.

With the Stormers and Lions set to win the two Africa leagues and reach the quarterfinals, only the best runners-up from the two sections will join them.

And the Sharks, second in Africa Two, have eight points more than the Bulls with a game in hand entering the second half of the regular season.   

Replacement flank Jacques Potgieter scored the Bulls' other try and Schoeman - bound for Bordeaux later this year - slotted two conversions and two penalties.  

Loose forward Paul Schoeman scored a pushover try for the Cheetahs and fly-half Niel Marais kicked three penalties.

Man of the match: William-Small Smith and Francois Venter tested the Bulls' defence, while Paul Schoeman and Armandt Koster were the Cheetahs' most productive forwards. Jamba Ulengo provided plenty of energy on attack, Jason Jenkins was busy and Jacques Potgieter made a big impact off the bench. However, our award goes to Bulls centre Burger Odendaal for the creative intent and attacking threat that he brought to the game.

Scorers:

For the Bulls:
Tries:
Potgieter, Kriel
Cons: Schoeman 2
Pens: Schoeman 2

For the Cheetahs:
Try:
Schoeman
Pens: Marais 3

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Jacques Potgieter, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Franco Naude.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Uzair Cassiem, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19