Warrick Gelant scored two early tries from which the Sharks never recovered and completed his hattrick in the final minutes as the Bulls won easily 40-10 in Durban.
The Bulls have now won 10 and drawn once from 14 Super Rugby matches in Durban.
There was only one team in this match – and it wasn’t the hosts. The Bulls scored six tries to one, with the final two coming in the last five minutes.
The Bulls were brilliant in the opening quarter and lead 14-3. They never eased up, changed ends 21-10 ahead and scored early in the second half through a penalty try from a driving maul.
The Bulls forwards, collectively, and in the individual collisions, were always in charge. The Sharks simply don’t have a pack that can compete with the physicality of the better South African packs. They will go nowhere in this competition until they beef up their forwards.
Lood de Jager and RG Snyman were particularly good for the Bulls and Handre Pollard, at flyhalf, dictated field position and used the possession advantage well. Pollard, playing behind a powerhouse forward effort, completely overshadowed the luckless Robert du Preez, whose forwards took a mauling.
Gelant was fantastic in the early stages when the ball went his way. He ran onto a magical chip kick from Pollard for the opening try and followed up his own grubber kick for his second try.
The Sharks possess a dangerous backline, but their potency was nullified by the inept forward effort and the very difficult playing conditions. It rained heavily for the last hour of the match but the tears of despair for the Sharks started flowing the moment the Bulls went ahead through Gelant in the fifth minute.
- 80+1‘Manie Libbok has hooked the conversion to the left of the posts.
- It’s all over! The referee has blown his whistle to end the game.
- 79‘Andre Riaan Warner played a key part in that try.
- 79‘A gap opened in the defence and John-Ben Kotze took full advantage.
- 79‘Great hands by Bulls leads to a try for John-Ben Kotze.
- 78‘Bulls have won 40 rucks so far this game.
- 78‘Manie Libbok adds the two points for Bulls.
- 77‘A bit of individual brilliance by Warrick Gelant leads to a try for Bulls.
- 77‘The defensive line has been broken as Warrick Gelant goes through the gap.
- The Bulls are undefeated in their last six games against the Sharks (W5, D1), their longest ever run without a loss against them.
- The Sharks have lost their last three home games against South African opposition; the last time they lost three in a row versus SA opposition was from 2004 to 2006.
- The Bulls have won only two of their last 11 games away from home; both in Durban against the Sharks.
- 75‘Bulls decide to make a substitution, with Duncan Matthews getting some game time.
- 75‘Bulls decide to make a substitution, with Divan Rossouw being replaced.
- 75‘Bulls make a substitution with Manie Libbok coming on.
- 75‘Bulls make a substitution with Handre Pollard coming off.
- 72‘What a run here by Cameron Wright as they gets over the gainline!.
- 70‘Marius Louw makes the break as the defence re-enacts the parting of the red sea.
- 65‘Bulls sub Lizo Gqoboka comes onto the field.
- 65‘Pierre Schoeman departs for Bulls.
- 65‘Jaco Visagie comes on for Bulls.
- 65‘Adriaan Strauss leaves the field.
- 65‘Fabulous play by Sharks has led to Jean-Luc du Preez being able to wriggle through a gap.
- 63‘John-Hubert Meyer comes on.
- 63‘Thomas du Toit comes off.
- 61‘Andre Riaan Warner comes on.
- 61‘Ivan van Zyl comes off.
- 61‘Frans van Wyk comes on.
- 61‘Trevor Nyakane comes off.
- 60‘Sharks decide to make a substitution, with Cameron Wright getting some game time.
- 60‘Sharks decide to make a substitution, with Louis Schreuder being replaced.
- 60‘Sharks make a substitution with Tyler Paul coming on.
- 60‘Sharks make a substitution with Stephan Lewies coming off.
- 59‘Bulls sub Jason Jenkins comes onto the field.
- 59‘Thembelani Bholi departs for Bulls.
- 58‘Trouble here as Lukhanyo Am breaches the defence.
- 57‘Phillip Van Der Walt comes on for Sharks.
- 57‘John-Hubert Meyer leaves the field.
- 51‘Sharks have won 40 rucks so far this game.
- 49‘Marius Louw comes on.
- 49‘Jacobus Van Wyk comes off.
- 49‘John-Hubert Meyer comes on.
- 49‘Phillip Van Der Walt comes off.
- 47‘Thomas du Toit (Sharks) is shown a yellow card.
- 46‘The referee awards a penalty try to Bulls.
- 46‘Jacobus Van Wyk comes on.
- 46‘Lwazi Mvovo comes off.
- 46‘Sharks decide to make a substitution, with Daniel du Preez getting some game time.
- 46‘Sharks decide to make a substitution, with Lubabalo Mtembu being replaced.
- 40‘Sharks make a substitution with Louis Schreuder coming on.
- 40‘Sharks make a substitution with Cameron Wright coming off.
- 40‘Sharks sub Armand van der Merwe comes onto the field.
- 40‘Chiliboy Ralepelle departs for Sharks.
- 40‘The second half is underway.
- 40+1‘The half-time whistle blows and both teams’ head for the dressing rooms.
- 39‘That’s a great try assist by Cameron Wright.
- 39‘Robert du Preez does the business as his conversion attempt goes over.
- 38‘Sharks are only a few metres out, surely they must score! And they do with Andre Esterhuizen touching down.
- 38‘This is dangerous for the defence as Andre Esterhuizen bursts through to advance the Sharks attack.
- 36‘Cameron Wright comes on for Sharks.
- 36‘Louis Schreuder leaves the field.
- 34‘Lodewyk De Jager has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 31‘Sharks have won 20 rucks so far this game.
- 25‘Handre Pollard makes no mistake with that conversion attempt.
- 24‘The Bulls pack has powered over for Adriaan Strauss to score the try.
- 21‘Robert du Preez steps up to take the penalty but pulls it wide and to the left.
- 15‘Bulls have won 20 rucks so far this game.
- 10‘A gap opened in the defence and John-Ben Kotze took full advantage.
- 9‘Handre Pollard converts the try.
- 7‘A stunning solo try from Warrick Gelant.
- 7‘The defensive line has been broken as Divan Rossouw goes through the gap.
- 6‘Roelof Smit comes on.
- 6‘Hanro Liebenberg comes off.
- 5‘Handre Pollard sets up the try.
- 5‘Handre Pollard has kicked a conversion.
- 4‘The kick through from Bulls has allowed Warrick Gelant to touch down.
- 2‘Robert du Preez has kicked a penalty goal.
- We are underway as the referee blows his whistle.