JON CARDINELLI watched the Blue Bulls overcome a slow start to hammer Griquas 35-20 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
Griquas played some exciting rugby in the opening quarter, fullback Wille le Roux showcasing his vision and superb distribution skills in the build-up to the first try.
Le Roux beat two defenders before releasing Rocco Jansen down the left-hand touchline, and linked up with his left winger again later in the move to complete the score. At 10-3, Griquas had raced to a handy and unlikely lead.
They managed to go to the break with a 13-9 advantage, but it was during the latter stages of the first half that the Bulls started to assert themselves.
The hosts dominated the contact point and stuck to their plan to kick for territory. They enjoyed a wealth of possession and it was only due to some fine Griquas defence that they were denied more points in the first stanza.
The Bulls failed to take full advantage when Le Roux was sin-binned for a reckless tackle, but continued to hammer away at Griquas’ defensive line. Eventually, the pressure began to tell, with Arno Botha breaking the line and setting up Akona Ndungane for a momentum-shifting try.
From that point, Griquas began to miss tackles regularly. The hosts were more ruthless in the second period, punishing Griquas via the boot. Flyhalf Louis Fouche kicked seven penalties and two conversions to finish with a personal tally of 25 points.
There was a glimmer of hope for the visitors when they scored on the hour, lock Martin Muller finishing a multi-phase move that was sparked from an excellent lineout.
Unfortunately for Griquas, they then conceded a seven-pointer at the other end of the field. Another two penalties by Fouche stretched the deficit to an insurmountable 15 points.