Planet Rugby

Bulls clinch bonus-point win

18th May 2013 15:49

Share:

Pierre Spies

100 caps: Pierre Spies

Tries from JJ Englebrecht, Akona Ndungane, Pierre Spies and Jano Vermaak saw the Bulls triumph 35-18 over the Highlanders at Loftus.

The win was the perfect way to mark Spies reaching 100 caps in Super Rugby in front of a vocal crowd at Loftus.

The Bulls came into Saturday's clash on the back four consecutive victories, including a 34-0 whitewash over the Kings.

The tale of the Highlanders season was less successful - just one victory in their first ten matches ahead of a stern test taking on the three-time champions.

Loose ball at the ruck saw the Highlanders punished early on, Chiliboy Ralepelle recovering possession and beginning a passage of play that resulted eventually in a try for Englebrecht within the first two minutes of the match.

Colin Slade responded for the visitors with a penalty after fine work by Andrew Hore at the breakdown, before Steyn left a shot at goal hanging out to the left to keep the score at 7-3 after the opening ten minutes.

The experience of the Highlanders front-row told against their younger opponents, Jamie Mackintosh getting the better of Frik Kirsten to create three more points for Slade who cut the deficit to one.

Steyn responded with a penalty of his own to appease the earlier miss and keep the Bulls out in front.

Someway off the highest level of execution, both sides struggled with their handling and decision-making as the first half progressed.

Steyn broke the deadlock with a superb long-range penalty, his second of the night as the Bulls sought to create a healthy gap on the scoreboard. His third strike two minutes later put the them ahead 16-6.

A breakaway try for Ndungane appeared as though it should have been ruled out by the TMO due to a knock-on, yet despite conclusive footage that Jan Serfontein's pass was forward the score was still given to the dismay of the Highlanders players.

Their fortunes took a further turn for the worse after the interval, early pressure in the Bulls half cancelled out by a celebratory try for Spies down the other end that stretched the score to 30-6 after Steyn's conversion bounced in off the post.

A fourth try for the Bulls was then ruled out, Serfontein pinged for double movement diving for the line after Tino Nemani was sin-binned for a high tackle on Lionel Mapoe - a sign that the floodgates might be about to open.

Last-ditch defence from Jason Emery denied Mapoe a try of his own in the left-hand corner but the Highlanders discipline continued to let them down, prop Chris King sent to the bin to briefly reduce their numbers to 13.

Heading into the final quarter without the try bonus point, the Bulls squandered a pair of five-metre lineouts through poor execution and handling errors, although they could be afforded a level of discretion given the gulf on the scoreboard.

The better rugby came from the Highlanders, spurred on by the energy of replacements Liam Coltman, TJ Ioane and finally Japanese scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka - the latter diving over for a consolation score with eight minutes remaining.

Still set on clinching the bonus point score, the Bulls finally delivered. A driving maul was halted on the edge of the Highlanders 22, before replacement scrum-half Vermaak burst off the base to score in the corner and seal the five-pointer.

Tamati Ellison's score after the hooter added some more respectability to the scoreline, but this was the Bulls day, extending their lead at the top of the South African Conference.

The scorers:

Bulls:
Tries: Englebrecht, Ndungane, Spies, Vermaak
Cons: Steyn 3
Pens: Steyn 3

Highlanders:
Tries: Tanaka, Ellison
Con: Slade
Pens: Slade 2
Yellow Cards: Nimani, King

Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellet.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Bjorn Basson.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 John Hardie, 6 Joe Wheeler, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Elliot Dixon, 19 TJ Ioane, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Hayden Parker, 22 Jason Emery.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058