Planet Rugby

Bonus point for improved Bulls

08th March 2014 16:59

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Jacques Louis Potgieter of the Bulls Super Rugby 2014

21 points: Jacques-Louis Potgieter

The Bulls produced their best performance of the Super Rugby season so far to beat the Blues 38-22 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Having failed to impress in their opening three fixtures, the former champions looked like a much more balanced outfit. The sides seemed to have switched game plans at the last minute as the Bulls played a more expansive game while the Blues, living off scraps, were more direct in their approach.

The Bulls dominated the first half, opening up what proved to be a winning-lead, but needed a debatable decision to score the bonus-point try in final minute

The Bulls led 25-12 at the interval having outscored their visitors three tries to none with fly-half Jacques-Louis Potgieter backing up last week's heroics with another impressive display.

But the second half was a far more evenly-contested affair as the rain which has belted Pretoria this week returned and the Blues made a comeback.

Potgieter scored via all four methods (try, conversion, drop goal and penalty) inside the first 20 minutes but a handful of silly errors allowed the visitors to stay in touch at 13-9 at the end of the first quarter.

But well-taken tries from number eight Jono Ross and centre Jan Serfontein ensured that the Bulls headed for the changing rooms with a healthy advantage.

The Blues returned to the field with renew vigour in the second half with rookie Pita Ahki scoring after a period of sustained pressure to keep the Kiwi side in the hunt.

The bonus point the Bulls so desperately craved came in the final play of the game however as Marcel van der Merwe muscled his way over.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: Potgieter, Ross, Serfontein, M van der Merwe
Cons: Potgieter 2, Pollard
Pens: Potgieter 3
Drop: Potgieter

For Blues:
Try: Ahki
Con: Hickey
Pens: Hickey 5

Bulls:15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (c), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett , 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers

Blues:15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock
Replacements:16 Tom McCarthy, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Brendon O'Connor, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Chris Noakes, 23 Pita Ahki

Venue: Loftus Versfeld
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa) Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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