The Bulls scored four tries in their 28-10 bonus-point victory over the Rebels in Pretoria on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Bulls played some superb rugby in the first half of this contest. The hosts dominated the set pieces and collisions as they went to the break with an impressive 21-3 lead.
The quality of the decision-making, as well as the handling, was of a high standard during this period. Locks Lood de Jager and RG Snyman did wonderfully well to win the collisions and then to look for the offload. Out wide, the likes of Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel and Divan Rossouw cut the Rebels’ defence to shreds.
The hosts did lack a bit of patience in the early stages, though. Indeed, had they been more clinical, they may have taken a bigger lead into half-time and strengthen their position as far as the try-scoring bonus point was concerned.
The Rebels hit back immediately after half-time through scrumhalf Michael Ruru. The visitors lifted their effort at the set pieces and collisions and succeeded in rattling the Bulls’ ball-carriers.
Those offloads that were going to hand in the first half were suddenly going to the ground. The decision-making of the hosts during this period left a lot to be desired.
The Bulls would not be denied for long, though. Replacement scrumhalf André Warner scored after taking a quick-tap penalty to restore the three-try gap between the teams.
The hosts did enough to repel the Rebels in the closing stages and finished the contest with a full house of five log points. They should know, however, that their second-half performance was not as physical and accurate as that of the first and improvement is needed ahead of their next fixture against the Highlanders.
Bulls –Tries: Adriaan Strauss, Jesse Kriel, Divan Rossouw, André Warner. Conversions: Handré Pollard (4).
Rebels – Try: Michael Ruru. Conversion: Jack Debreczeni. Penalty: Debreczeni.
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kötze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit , 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman. Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 André Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Duncan Matthews.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner. Subs: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
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