Bulls keep semi-final hopes alive

Date published: October 3 2014

The Blue Bulls provisionally moved into the top four of the Currie Cup standings thanks to a 37-6 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.

The Blue Bulls provisionally moved into the top four of the Currie Cup standings on Friday thanks to a 37-6 win over the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

The Bulls scored their fourth try in the dying moments to grab the bonus point that takes them four clear of the fifth-placed Cheetahs, who host Western Province on Saturday.

An error-strewn first half came to a close with the Blue Bulls leading 10-6 thanks to a try from flanker Jacques du Plessis.

The Pumas were 6-3 up via two penalties from the boot of fly-half Justin van Staden but the Bulls charged ahead as Du Plessis shrugged off two defenders to crash over.

Jacques-Louis Potgieter added the conversion but there would be no more scoring until half time as both sides conspired to waste possession and opportunities.

The second half was one-way traffic as the Pumas were unable to score.

Potgieter extended the lead soon after the restart, taking his all-time Currie Cup points tally over 500 points with his second penalty of the evening.

The Bulls gave themselves some breathing room when Dean Greyling barged over from short range after a break from Burger Odendaal put the visitors in the strike zone.

Potgieter’s conversion took the scores to 20-6 with half an hour left on the clock.

Replacement scrum-half Piet Van Zyl scored number three after a series of pick-and-goes from the Blue Bulls pack as the team in blue hunted the bonus point.

Tian Schoeman added the conversion to rub salt into the wounds of the dejected Pumas.

The Pumas showed some positive signs of scoring their first try of the evening. Rosco Specman appeared to have scored their first try but a review from the television match official showed a knock on earlier to deny the hosts.

The Bulls, however, would not be denied with a minute remaining on the clock captain Deon Stegmann scored from the back of a rampant line-out drive for the bonus point.

The scorers:

For Pumas:
Pens: Van Staden 2

For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Du Plessis, Greyling, Van Zyl, Stegmann
Cons: Potgieter 3, Schoeman
Pens: Potgieter 3

Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosco Specman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corne Steenkamp (c), 5 Giant Mtyanda, 4 Marius Coetzer, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 DeJay Terblanche, 18 Uzair Cassiem, 19 RW Kember, 20 Dylon Frylinck, 21 Coenie van Wyk, 22 Jerome Pretorius.

Blue Bulls: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann (c), 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Morn