10-try blitz sees Bulls keep play-off hopes alive

Pretoria News Weekend - - SPORT -

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. ●

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