The Blue Bulls were able to fight off Boland with a 48-26 win in Wellington on Friday.
Both sides scored over four tries in what many thought would be a one-sided affair but turned out to be a incredibly exciting game of rugby. The score really doesn't reflect the game as the Blue Bulls only ran away with things right at the end.
Victory was vital for the Pretoria side as it sees them jump straight up the table into first place, replacing the unbeaten Cheetahs for the lead. The win was especially important as the Blue Bulls do not play in the last round of the tournament next weekend as they have a bye, so if they had lost their fate would be out of their hands.
Boland put up an incredible performance but could not do enough to outdo their visitors. They will take solace in their four-try bonus-point but will feel aggrieved they could not get the win.
The Blue Bulls opened the scoring through a try from full-back Ulrich Beyers who scored from five metres out. They were camped out on the Boland line for an age before Beyers was able to side step the Boland number 10 and go over for the five-pointer.
The visitors then added to their score despite Boland finding themselves in a favourable position for the first time in the game as they drove up to the Blue Bulls 22 metre. As the Cavaliers sent the ball wide, former Springbok Bjorn Basson snapped the ball out of the air and had no one in front of him as he raced for the line and touched down.
Boland finally got onto the score-board after the home side put the Bulls under far too much pressure. The Bulls defence just managed to hold off the probing Boland attack before Theuns Kotze sold a deceptive dummy and went over.
Boland then equalled the scores after a great run of play saw Danwel Demas cross in the corner and unfortunately for the home side, Kotze could not convert which would have given them the lead.
Tian Schoeman scored the Blue Bulls' third try to get them back into the lead, after he received the ball running across the field and cut inside to bamboozle the Boland defence.
Boland were not beaten yet and number eight Zandré Jordaan wrapped up a great attacking surge to score on the wing.
The Wellington outfit then took the lead for the first time when the Blue Bulls tried to get out of their 22, but the ever-aware Kotze scored the second intercept try of the game after plucking the ball from the air mid-pass.
The Blue Bulls managed to take the Boland forwards out of the game with a powerful scrum which sent them tracking back to the Boland five metre line, before the ball popped out of the scrum and Roelof Smit gathered the ball and made no mistake in dotting down for the try.
Rudy Paige, with some good distribution skills from the base of the ruck, found his forwards with an accurate pass before Hanro Liebenberg fended off his tackler on the wing and crashed over for the five pointer.
The Bulls scored another from pressure at scrum time as Liebenberg barged over for his second try after a big shove from the forwards on the Boland five metre line to wrap up the victory.
Tries: Kotze 2, Demas, Jordaan
Cons: Kotze 3
Yellow card: Hanekom
Tries: Beyers, Basson, Schoeman, Smit, Liebenberg 2
Cons: Schoeman 3
Pens: Schoeman 2
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Adriaan Carelse, 14 Logan Basson, 13 Gerrit van Wyk, 12 Christopher Bosch, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandré Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Keenan Cronje, 5 Joubert Horn, 4 Shaun McDonald, 3 Basil Short, 2 Clemen Lewis (c), 1 SP Wessels
Replacements: 16 Francois Esterhuyzen, 17 Enoch Mnyaka, 18 Francois Hanekom, 19 Wayne Wilschut, 20 Hanno Kitshoff, 21 Gerhard Jordaan, 22 Robbie Louw
Blue Bulls: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Jason Jenkins, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Divan Rossouw
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen,, Quinton Immelman
TMO: Shaun Veldsman