Bulls grapple their way to victory
Ken Borland
April 24, 2010
The Blue Bulls grappled their way to a 17-6 (half-time 11-3) victory over Western Province in their Vodacom Cup quarterfinal at the Loftus B field on Saturday.

The ferocious Bulls pack laid the platform for the win, with both backlines being frustrated by the mudpatch they were forced to play in after heavy overnight rain.

Western Province had a bad time of it in the scrums in the first half, with Bulls flyhalf Francois Brummer kicking a 17th-minute penalty after the visitors were penalised in the set-phase, and eighthman Gerrit-Jan van Velze scoring in the 36th minute from a pushover.

But Western Province were on the board from the re-start as poor communication amongst the Bulls backs led to obstruction and a successful penalty by scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman.

A snap drop goal by Brummer restored an 11-3 lead for the Bulls when they went into the halftime break.

Six minutes into the second half, Western Province failed to get hold of the bobbling ball after an up-and-under and conceded a penalty which Brummer gobbled up.

Between the 20th and 30th minutes, Western Province were on the attack and looked a sure bet to score a couple of times, but then lost control of the wet ball. They could only register another Hoffman penalty to make it 14-6, which was where their part of the scoreboard stayed.

The in-form Brummer kicked his third penalty in the 35th minute and the Bulls were in the semi-finals.

Brummer and scrumhalf Ruan Snyman varied their play well to keep the opposition guessing, while Van Velze's play marked him out as one for higher honours. Locks Mthunzi "Fudge" Mabeta and Cornell Hess were also a towering presence.


Vodacom Blue Bulls - Try: Gerrit-Jan van Velze. Penalties: Francois Brummer (3). Drop goal: Brummer.

Vodacom Western Province - Penalties: Conrad Hoffman (2).

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