Burly Bulls blast Canes

The best half of Bulls rugby of the season set the platform for victory at Loftus.

Three first half tries and 27 unanswered points at the break set the Bulls up for a 48 – 14 win over the Hurricanes.

It was three tries on each side of half time that resulted in a great victory for the Bulls, putting them back at number one spot on the South African log. Their spot was temporarily occupied by the Cheetahs, who received four points for their bye weekend.

The Bulls put on a masterful first half, dominating the Canes in the set pieces, Line-outs were a nightmare for the men from Wellington, Flip van der Merwe and Juandre Kruger stealing multiple balls on their throw. Even though two of the tries scored were intercepts, the Bulls were dominant in both territory and possession stats, playing all the rugby.

A quick double from TJ Perenara after half time looked to breath life into the Canes team, but they failed to kick on from that. The Bulls defended well and hit back with three tries to end the match comfortable winners.

The turning point in the match was Conrad Smith being knocked out by JJ Engelbrecht, which led to the Canes side being rudderless for the rest of the game. Their long passes, which resulted in two intercept tries, were risky and only put pressure on themselves.

Stand outs for the Bulls were Chiliboy Ralepelle, the locks van der Merwe and Kruger, while Steyn again proved that he is still the best in the country. Jurgen Visser was solid at the back while JJ Engelbrecht was huge in midfield, linking well with the returning Wynand Olivier.

The Bulls seem to be the only South African team left with a chance of reaching the play-offs. The Cheetahs are still in a position to surprise all and sundry, but a few results will have to go their way if that is to be the case.

The Hurricanes complete their tour of South Africa in Bloemfontein while the Bulls enjoy a bye next weekend.

Bulls: 48 (27)

Tries: JJ Engelbrecht, Deon Stegmann, Akona Ndungane, Dean Greyling, Lionel Mapoe, Louis Fouche
Conversions: Morne Steyn (4), Louis Fouche (1)
Penalties: Morne Steyn (2)

Hurricanes: 14 (0)

Tries: TJ Perenara (2)
Conversions: Beauden Barrett (2)

By Richard Ferguson