Planet Rugby

Ndungane double defeats Kings

23rd August 2014 15:52

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Power: Grant Hattingh

The Bulls bounced back for their first win in this year's Currie Cup competition with a 30-25 victory over the Kings at Loftus.

Akona Ndungane scored two tries as the Bulls took five points away from Saturday's clash.

The influence of Carlos Spencer's coaching on this Kings outfit is plain to see. However, there is a time for extravagance and width and a time for playing sensibly.

Admirably the Kings persisted with running the ball out of their 22; better teams will punish them in this area unless they take greater caution.

That said, their attacking intent lit up a contest as ambition momentarily overcame traditional Bulls power.

Hammered in Cape Town last weekend, Frans Ludeke's squad would have been desperate to get back on track in this year's competition on home turf against a team that shipped 60 points against the Lions in Round Two.

Tony Jantjies' early penalty was almost immediately cancelled out by the visitors, with Shane Gates cruising over after some sharp handling down the right hand side opened up the space for the centre to run home.

Turning to their maul for some security, the Bulls pack were always in control as they edged forward towards the Kings line with Deon Stegmann at the bottom to secure the points.

Losing captain Luke Watson was a major blow for the visiting team as a second penalty from Jantjies extended the deficit. Van Aswegen countered with a penalty of his own to leave the score at 11-8 by half-time.

In many ways the first half really was just a warm-up.

Kings prop Lizo Gqoboka scampered away up the middle for a solo try, spotting a gaping hole at the back of the ruck, before Jantjies was sent to the bin in a nightmare start for the hosts.

Scott van Breda's penalty gave the Kings a seven-point lead but Michael van Vuuren's yellow card halted their momentum, former Springbok winger Ndungane on hand to finish well in the corner as the Bulls came back into the contest.

Ndungane bagged his second try a few minutes later by finishing off an easy overlap out wide on the right, to put the Bulls back ahead with Jantjies converting.

That score set off a run of two more tries within seven minutes, Jesse Kriel sprinting away on his start at full-back to score before Van Vuuren instantly responded from the kickoff for the Kings by collecting Sampie Mastriet's mis-catch and finishing in the corner.

Following that breathless passage the Bulls lead 30-25 going into the final ten minutes.

Jantjies missed an alarmingly simply penalty, which could have denied the Kings a losing bonus point, but the result was all that mattered for the Bulls. A step in right direction.

The scorers:

For Blue Bulls:
Tries: Stegmann, Ndungane 2
Pens: Jantjies 2
Yellow Card: Jantjies

For EP Kings:
Tries: Gates, Gqoboka, Van Vuuren
Cons: Van Breda 2
Pens: Van Aswegen, Van Breda

Blue Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudi Paige, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wiaan Liebenburg, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Luke Watson (capt), 7 Paul Schoeman, 6 Stefan Willemse, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Mike van Vuuren, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Steven Cummins, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Jaco Grobler, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Siyanda Grey.

Date: Saturday, August 23
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 BST, 13:00 GMT)
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Johan Greeff

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