Planet Rugby

Bulls keep semi-final hopes alive

18th September 2010 17:54

Share:

Flip van der Merwe brought down by Lions

Van der Merwe: Another big game for the Bulls

The Blue Bulls held off a late charge from the Lions to keep their Currie Cup semi-final hopes alive with a 24-21 win at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Jukskei Derby was considered a must-win game for both sides in their battle to make the play-offs. However, the Lions will be happy with the fact that they earned a bonus point for going down by less than seven.

The result moves Frans Ludeke's men up to third in the standings on 33 points, while the Lions drop down to fifth on 31 points.

The game failed to deliver as a spectacle in the opening hour as both sides made far too many mistakes in a fierce physical contest.

The only points in the first-half came from the boots of Elton Jantjies and Jacques-Louis Potgieter as they both struck two penalties to leave the score at 6-6 heading into the interval.

The Bulls dominated possession and territory in the first period, but they failed to breach a resolute Lions defence and mistakes at crucial periods cost them dearly.

Potgieter had a night to forget as he missed three easy kicks at goal in the first-half, which would have given his side a comfortable lead at the break.

The Bulls' best chance of the half came in the 32nd minute when Stefan Watermeyer broke the line and offloaded to Pretorius, who carried two players with him to the line before coming up just short. The Bulls then managed to recycle the ball and swung it out to Greyling on the blindside, but he was bundled into touch.

The Lions, who would have considered themselves lucky to still be in the game, came out a different side in the second period as they dominated possession.

The Gauteng outfits exchanged penalties shortly after half-time before Potgieter slotted his fourth three-pointer of the evening to make it 12-9.

Former Bulls golden-boy, Wickus van Heerden, made his return earlier than expected after a lengthy lay-off for a broken arm.

The Springbok flanker was on the bench for John Mitchell's side, but he was introduced as early as the 21st minute when eighth man Warren Whiteley was forced to leave the field with an injury.

However, it was not the return Van Heerden was hoping for as he was yellow-carded for a second high tackle in the 57th minute.

This turned the game on its head as the Bulls capitalised straight away through a try by Gerrit-Jan van Velze.

The number eight went over in the corner after a rolling maul from a line-out in the 59th minute to make it 17-6.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as the Bulls again benefited from the numerical advantage as Stefan Watermeyer brushed off Doppies la Grange tackle and ran in under the uprights in the 63rd minute.

But the Lions refused to throw in the towel and they hit back straight away with a try as la Grange made up for his earlier missed tackle to dot down and give his side a sniff with fifteen minutes to play.

Potgieter's sin-binning in the 70th minute set up a tense finish to the game and Lions pressure paid off with five minutes left on the clock as Waylon Murray went over.

Jantjies slotted the conversion to make it 24-21, but it proved to be too little too late as the Bulls came out on top in the battle of Jukskei.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: Velze, Watermeyer
Cons: Potgieter
Pens:Potgieter 4

For Lions
Tries: Le Grange, Murray
Cons:Jantjies
Pens:Jantjies 4

Yellow cards: van Heerden (Lions - 59th min - high tackle) Potgieter (Bulls - 70th min - professional foul )

Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 CJ Stander, 6 Derick Kuün, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Jaco Engels, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Okkie Kruger, 21 Dustin Jinka, 22 Stephan Dippenaar.

Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe (capt.), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Marius Delport.

Referee: Craig Joubert

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26