10-try blitz sees Bulls keep play-off hopes alive
BLOEMFONTEIN: The Blue Bulls scored 10 tries as they claimed a resounding 6436 bonus-point Currie Cup victory over the Free State Cheetahs here last night.
After three successive losses it was the perfect result for the Bulls as it reignited their play-off hopes.
The Bulls were full of running early on and after turning down two shots at goal, scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl took a quick tap and darted over to score in the 10th minute after the visitors had earned a scrum penalty in the red zone.
With the home side missing far too many firsttime tackles, the Bulls struck again when Burger Odendaal was put away to score next, while Cheetahs captain Chris Dry was then shown a yellow card after repeated team infringements soon after.
In his absence, the Cheetahs actually outscored the Bulls 10-5, with Lloyd Greeff and Odendaal trading tries, while Petzer slotted a penalty just before the half-hour mark.
However, the Bulls continued to embrace some eye-catching ball-in-hand play, with Warrick Gelant going over for his team’s bonus-point try, although it would be the Cheetahs who had the final say of the half when Daniel Maartens dotted down twice before the break.
It meant just four points separated the sides at the break, but Odendaal went over for a simple try soon after the restart to restore a handy 12-point buffer for the Bulls.
Yet Maartens continued to match Odendaal blow for blow as he went over for his hat-trick try in the 49th minute.
Duncan Matthews went over for the Bulls’ sixth try soon after, which saw the Pretoria-based side establish a 38-29 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Bulls finally took control of proceedings as Johan Grobbelaar and Tim Agaba went over to score, and although Stephan Janse van Rensburg did dot down for the Cheetahs’ fifth try, it was always going to be a mere consolation.
As it is, Gelant scored A MONTH before, the Boks had beaten the All Blacks 30-28 in Dunedin thanks to Ricky Januarie’s heroics, and the Kiwis were in the mood for revenge in this return match, which happened to mark the 100th cap of fullback Percy Montgomery,
The 34-year-old was South Africa’s first rugby centurion and was playing on his home ground for the final time.
Everything was in place for an emotional sendoff for Percy but it was not meant to be.
The Boks were six months into the Peter de Villiers era and played much of the rugby in this Test but got no reward for their positive play.
It was the old story of failing to capitalise on opportunities created, while the All Blacks clinically converted Bok mistakes into points.
Monty did not have the best day with the boot and in the end the party-pooping visitors deservedly won by three tries to none. twice before the final whistle to ensure the Bulls came away with a most emphatic result. – ANA
Meanwhile, a third of his team are still eligible for the Under-21 ranks but coach Swys de Bruin is confident they will deliver the goods when the Golden Lions host Western Province at Ellis Park in a Currie Cup match tomorrow (2.30pm kick-off),
writes Jacques van der Westhuyzen.
Replacements for the match Jan-Louis la Grange, Bradley Thain, Hacjivah Dayimani and Rhyno Herbst and starters Marco Jansen van Vuuren, Jo Hanko de Villiers and Len Massyn are all under-21 players in the team to tackle the men from the Cape.
On top of that, Pieter Jansen, Marvin Orie, Kwagga Smith, Ashlon Davids, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Harold Vorster, Sylvian Mahuza and Jaco van der Walt are all under 25.
HERE we go again. Another tilt at the best rugby team on the planet. Another week of preparations that have been, we are told, “very impressive”.
That’s getting annoying. We need to see it during the game, please coach Allister.
Some more changes but still a side that doesn’t instill confidence, that somehow looks unbalanced, and, of course, Newlands is like a home game for the All Blacks.
It sounds like we have not a chance in hell of winning, but the history of rugby is littered with the bones of teams who couldn’t lose – often the All Blacks.
So we live in hope for a win but as we know, the solution to our rugby travails is not a short-term fix. We need a revolution starting with the kids and with the coaches.
Last week was close but candidly it was a poor game and for all the effort, our backline still looked impotent.
However, this is when a team needs support – not just when it is up. Guys, you have mine.
I was in Durban last year for the slaughter. At the end of the game a fist fight broke out in the stand across the pitch from us. A Springbok-shirted guy was slugging it out with an All Black supporter. It was ugly and nasty and nobody around us said what we all knew. Inside. The All Black supporter was a South African of coloured tradition, or whatever the correct term is today.
Why do so many South Africans still support the All Blacks? It is their democratic right but as has been pointed out, a white supporter carrying an old flag would get short shrift.
New Zealand was happy to select teams with a racial exclusion right up to 1970. We know the Maoris were told to lose against the 1956 Boks. Few colonial countries are blameless if you look into dark corners of the past.
Is it something we just ignore or do we have the guts to raise the issue? Would this change things for the better or make it worse? Would this raise the question of quotas again and we know how that can kick off ? How do black players in the Boks feel when they run out at Newlands and so many locals are against them? What about the coach? Isn’t this why Madiba wore the green shirt and why “One Team, One Nation” was created? To unify?
We know, like so many issues in South Africa, it is a complex one. Justifiable anger and offence for so long was never going to be easy to erase, but almost 30 years on surely it is time to grasp the nettle.
Or do we ignore the issue and let it fester?
I long for the day when the Springboks play a real home game in Cape Town. ●