Bonus-point win for Bulls in Perth

Date published: April 29 2016

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The Bulls got their overseas tour off to a fine start after claiming a 42-20 bonus-point win over the Western Force in Perth on Friday.

In a superb all-round display the three-time champions were dominant in most facets of play and outscored their hosts five tries to two with Jan Serfontein and Adriaan Strauss leading the charge by crossing for a brace apiece.

The Force were playing catch-up from the early part of the first half and like their defeat against the Waratahs last weekend, they gave a good account of themselves during the opening period but faded badly in the second half which they lost 24-7.

The result moves the Bulls provisionally into top spot on the Africa One Conference table alongside the Stormers, who take on the Waratahs in Cape Town on Saturday. 

The Force are still winless since Round Two and are firmly rooted at the bottom of the Australasian Conference with just one win from 10 matches.

The Force opened scoring in the 10th minute via a penalty from Ian Prior, but the visitors' response was immediate with Hanro Liebenberg crossing for the opening try shortly afterwards, after running on to a superb offload from RG Snyman inside the Force's 22.

Francois Brummer added the extras before trading penalties with Prior which meant the Bulls led 10-6 by the 20th minute.

The men from Pretoria then extended their lead with a superb counter-attacking try in which the ball went through several pairs of hands before Serfontein crossed the whitewash.

The home side struck back with a try from their captain Matt Hodgson, after he peeled off a maul deep inside the Bulls' 22 in the 26th minute and when Prior slotted the conversion the home side were trailing by just two points.

Ten minutes later, Brummer added another three-pointer from the kicking tee which meant the Bulls were leading 18-13 at the break.

Brummer kicked another penalty 10 minutes after the restart before the Force suffered a setback when Brynard Stander was yellow-carded for deliberately collapsing a maul.

The Bulls made their numerical advantage count and an initial lineout maul inside the Force's 22 was finished off by Serfontein with a jink, a burst and a swivel over the line.

Strauss then got his name onto the scoresheet with his first try on the hour-mark, when he barged over from close quarters after Travis Ismaiel set up the score with a mazy run in the build-up, and when the Bulls' skipper dotted down from a rolling maul five minutes later, the game was in the bag for the visitors.

The Force didn't give up though and Kyle Godwin was rewarded with a consolation try, just before full-time, after Tian Schoeman knocked on close to his try line. 

The scorers:

For Force:
Tries:
Hodgson, Godwin
Cons: Prior 2
Pens: Prior 2
Yellow Card: Stander

For Bulls:
Tries:
Serfontein 2, Strauss 2, Liebenberg
Cons: Brummer 4
Pens: Brummer 3

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ammon Matuauto, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Francois van Wyk
Replacements: 16 Chris Heiberg, 17 Anaru Rangi, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Semisi Masirewa

Bulls: 15 SP Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel

Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Rohan Hoffman, Damien Mitchelmore
TMO: Ian Smith

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