Bulls victorious in try-fest
Bulls victorious in try-festSHARE
The Bulls completed a 40-24 triumph over the Cheetahs in a thriller that yielded no fewer than ten tries in Pretoria.
The match was played a furious pace with some frantic attack-minded rugby from both sides, while there was also some tough defensive work done with some big tackles coming in.
The Cheetahs played with a high tempo and their gutsy attacking style early on, opting to go for tries rather than penalties, but the Bulls were more accurate on attack.
Many of the Bulls were involved with the Springboks, while the vast majority of the Cheetahs haven't played for almost a month and they struggled to shake off the rust.
The Bulls raked up a 40-0 lead before the Cheetahs came to the party and scored four tries in the final 20 minutes to make for a thrilling finish to the match.
Despite the Cheetahs looking the more dangerous of the two sides early on, it was the Bulls who were first on the scoreboard thanks to some slick hands in open play. From close range Francois Hougaard popped the ball to Pierre Spies and the big man crashed over for the try.
With the momentum swinging in their direction the Bulls made it count following an extended attack inside the Cheetahs' 22m. Eventually Dean Greyling was able to muscle his way over the line from close range for the second try.
From a penalty Morné Steyn launched a high up & under into the air for Bjorn Basson to contest with Ashley Johnson. The Cheetahs No.8 couldn't control the ball and Zane Kirchner swooped fastest to pick up and cruise in for a third try and a 19-0 lead for the Bulls.
The Bulls twisted a Cheetahs scrum inside the 22m and Johnson made a meal of things at the back under a lot of pressure. Hougaard was able to pounce of the loose ball and quick as a flash he had darted over for the bonus-point try.
The Cheetahs opted for an attacking scrum just before the half-time break instead of taking a simple three points. Fantastic cover defence from Hougaard was all that kept Rocco Jansen from scoring in the corner and the Bulls took a 26-0 lead into the break.
The Cheetahs were dealt a terrible blow in the second half when Andries Strauss was shown a yellow card for pulling Jacques Potgieter's hair, although he protested that the Bulls flank was holding him round the neck.
Following a period of sustained pressure on the Cheetahs line the Bulls used Werner Kruger to power his way over the line from close range, and the defenders had no hope of stopping a man of his size when he's built up a head of steam.
From a turnover the Bulls attacked the blindside and Basson was give space to run down the touchline. The crafty wing did a neat inside-outside step, weaving deceptively to beat Willie le Roux and score a brilliant try.
The Cheetahs finally got on the scoreboard after some good front foot ball was created by the forwards and WP Nel thundered over the line after a strong leg drive.
Sias Ebersohn put in a deft little chip for Le ROux to chase and it bounce perfectly into the fullback's hands and he had the speed to beat the bulls defence and score in the corner.
The Cheetahs continued to build having found some rhythm late in the match and drove forward and Nel forced his way over around the fringes of a ruck for a second try.
In the dying minutes the ball went out to Brüssow on the touchline and the openside flank scored a fantastic individual try. He handed-off Wynand Olivier, beat Louis Fouché for pace and then had the strength to get over the line through the tackle of Jano Vermaak.
Man of the match: For the Cheetahs Heinrich Brüssow and Robert Ebersohn lead the way on the field with some superb individual touches, while Sias Ebersohn made a big impact when he came off the bench. The Bulls had a number of excellent performers, with Wynand Olivier and Bjorn Basson doing some great work in the backline, but it was Werner Kruger and Juandre Kruger who really got them on the front foot. His great work in the line-outs and skills in both the tight phases and in open play means our vote goes to Juandre Kruger.
Tries: Spies, Greyling, Kirchner, Hougaard, W Kruger, Basson
Cons: Steyn 5
Tries: Nel 2, Le Roux, Brüssow
Cons: S Ebersohn 2
Yellow card: Andries Strauss (Hair pulling – 51st minute)
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois Venter.
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 WP Nel, 18 George Earle, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Nico Scheepers.
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Sindile Mayende (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
By Timmy Hancox