Planet Rugby

Bulls crowned Currie Cup champs

Blue Bulls Currie Cup celeb

The final whistle goes and the celebrations can really begin for the Blue Bulls

31st October 2009 15:26

Share:

Two tries from departing wing Bryan Habana helped the Blue Bulls to a 36-24 win over Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup Final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

A 21-point blitz in the opening quarter from the home side meant the Cheetahs were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the game.

And in his last game for the Bulls before leaving for Western Province, Habana used his pace to dot down twice to give the Loftus faithful the perfect going-away gift.

The Cheetahs fought valiantly but in the end it was their discipline, which has been their strength this season, that let them down when it mattered most.

Four penalties and a drop from home fly-half Morné Steyn made sure the Cheetahs were punished for the slightest mistake.

Unfortunately a brilliant atmosphere was ruined at the final whistle as fisticuffs broke out.

The Bulls got off to a flier as Francois Hougaard crossed the whitewash after just four minutes thanks to a pin-point cross field kick from Fourie du Preez.

The lead was doubled by the quarter-hour mark as Du Preez and Habana linked up down the left touchline to break clear and put the Cape Town-bound man in for five points. There was more than of hint of a forward pass as Du Preez fed Habana, but it wouldn't have made much difference. Of course metronome Steyn added the extras.

The Loftus faithful didn't have to wait long for Habana to score again as he picked up Du Preez's kick ahead and dived into the corner. Steyn slotted a brilliant conversion and the Bulls led 21-0 after just 20 minutes.

Steyn added a penalty five minutes later and the Cheetahs looked down and out.

But you should never, ever, write the Cheetahs off and most of the rest of the half would belong to the visitors. With the Cheetahs camped on the opposition tryline for extended periods it was matter of time before the pressure turned to points.

First flank Frans Viljoen crashed over from close range and then Corne Uys did the same in the corner with half time looming. After missing an easy penalty earlier on, Jacques-Louis Potgieter found his kicking boots to convert both tries and the Cheetahs were back in the game at 24-14.

The home side would have the last laugh of the half however as sharpshooter Steyn slotted an opportunistic drop-goal as the hooter sounded.

Steyn was on song after the break with another penalty but the momentum had swung the Cheetahs way. Nico Breedt found his way into the corner before Potgieter slotted a drop to make the score 30-24.

With chants of "Cheetahs -Cheetahs" ringing out in the crowd, and the visitors providing most of the positive rugby, the Bulls knew they had a game on their hands.

Another Steyn penalty gave the Bulls a bit of breathing space.

When Cheetahs replacement hooker Richardt Strauss tried to give Francois Hougaard a 'wedgie' off the ball, Steyn could increase the lead to twelve points with his fourth penalty.

The Cheetahs plied the pressure in the closing minutes but a well organised Bulls defence stood firm.

With tempers boiling over, Strauss was given his marching orders for giving ref Jonathan Kaplan too much lip. A man down at the death, the Cheetahs still kept the pressure on, but ran out of time to close the gap.

For the Blue Bulls:
Tries: Hougaard, Habana 2
Cons: Steyn 3
Pens: Steyn 4
Drop: Steyn

For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Viljoen, Uys, Breedt
Cons: Potgieter 3
Drop: Potgieter

Yellow card: R. Strauss (Cheetahs - 75th min - dissent)

Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Pedrie Wannenburg, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 JP Joubert, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Frans Viljoen, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 Fabian Juries.

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Pro Legoete, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821