Bulls keep hopes alive
September 28, 2013

The Vodacom Blue Bulls kept their slim chances of a playoff spot alive when they thumped the GWK Griquas 52-10 (halftime 15-10) at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.

The Griquas had the first chance at points when they stole a Bulls lineout ball and the visitors were penalised.

Former Blue Bull Francois Brummer lined up the kick from 40 metres out but the fylhalf was unsuccessful with his attempt.

His opposite number Handre Pollard made no such mistake and opened the scoring with a penalty after the Griquas infringed at a line-out.

Brummer seemed to be struggling with the boot and missed a drop goal attempt minutes later.

The visitors seemed to have sorted out their lineout woes and flanker Wiaan Liebenberg, who captained the Junior Boks to victory in last year’s Junior World Cup, scored from a vintage Blue Bulls lineout drive.

Pollard was unable to convert but the visitors still led 8-0 after 19 minutes of play.

It was the turn of another Junior Bok, the big flanker Jacques du Plessis, to score after receiving quick ball from nippy scrumhalf Rudy Paige.

The conversion by Pollard opened up a 15-0 gap and it seemed to be one-way traffic in Kimberley.

The hosts thought they had scored 10 minutes later through captain and hooker Ryno Barnes but TMO Gerrie Coetzee ruled that he had been held up over the line.

The Bulls had to defend for all their worth and the Griquas started to dominate in the scrums.

A string of penalties saw referee Quinton Immelman lose patience and prop Marcel van der Merwe was shown a yellow card and sent to the bin for 10 minutes.

The subsequent penalty try was easily converted by fullback Gouws Prinsloo and the hosts had their just reward for an impressive scrumming performance.

Prinsloo narrowed the gap when Bulls captain Jono Ross was adjudged to have committed a dangerous tackle and the score at halftime was 15-10 to the visitors from Pretoria.

Whatever Pienaar told his players during the break seemed to do the trick as Pollard extended the lead to 18-10 with a penalty.

Veteran winger Akona Ndungane then linked up beautifully with centre William Small-Smith and the youngster scored the third try for Pine Pienaar's charges.

Pollard was off with his conversion attempt but the Bulls juggernaut started slowly and surely to take control of proceedings.

The Griquas were reduced to 14 men when JP Nel was given the umpteenth yellow card of his career and the Bulls were quick to make the numerical advantage count.

Big lock Paul Willemse, with the help of a few of his colleagues, powered over for the Bulls' fourth try and sealed a valuable bonus point.

Pollard made it 30-10 and the Bulls had a sizeable lead going into the final quarter of the match.

The Bulls kept their foot on the accelerator and both Willemse and Small-Smith scored again to open a massive lead over the hosts.

Pollard added a further penalty and conversion to take his personal tally to 17 points for the afternoon.

A breakout try, finished by fullback Jurgens Visser, was started deep in the Bulls' half and saw them bring up 50 points with just over 10 minutes left in the game.

Pollard missed the conversion and the Bulls were cruising at 52-10. Despite never giving up, the Griquas had nothing to show for their effort and remain rooted to the bottom of the log.


Blue Bulls - Tries: Wiaan Liebenberg , Jacques Du Plessis, William Small-Smith (2), Paul Willemse (2), Jurgens Visser. Conversions: Handre Pollard (4). Penalties: Pollard (3).

Griquas - Try: Penalty try. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalty: Prinsloo.


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