Bulls late show floors Free State

The Blue Bulls scored 17 points in the final 10 minutes to stun the Free State Cheetahs 20-17 at Loftus in round two of the Currie Cup qualifiers, while there were also wins for the Griffons, Boland and Lions. 

Leading 17-3 late in the game, the Cheetahs looked set to hand the Bulls a second defeat in as many weeks. But the hosts launched a fightback of some note to clinch a dramatic victory.

Bulls fullback Manie Libbok gave his side the lead with a penalty, but the visitors replied with a converted try by prop Ox Nche for a slender 7-3 advantage at half-time.

A 10-point burst after the restart saw the men from Bloemfontein open up a 14-point lead and with the Bulls offering nothing in attack, you'd have been excused for thinking the game was done and dusted.

With the clock wounding down, the Bulls shifted gears as they clawed their way back into the game. Centre JT Jackson featured heavily for the Bulls, setting up flank Tapiwa Tsomondo for their first try, before popping the final pass to Libbok for the second. Both scores went unconverted, though, as they still trailed by 17-13.

There was still time for one last attack and that was all the Bulls needed to set a driving maul which guided Callie Visagie over for the winning score. Replacement kicker Joshua Stander coolly added the extras to complete the stunning win.

In Welkom, the Griffons annihilated the Leopards 76-26. Wing Selvyn Davids and George Whitehead both scored a hat-trick for the Griffons in their 11-try rout. The only consolation for the Leopards was that they managed to secure a four-try losing bonus point.

In other matches on Saturday, the Boland Cavaliers outscored the EP Kings five tries to two for a comfortable 37-18 bonus-point win, and the Golden Lions smashed Namibia's Welwitchias 66-12 in Windhoek.

Currie Cup qualifier results (Round 2):

Blue Bulls (20) – Tries: Callie Visagie, Imanuel Libbok, Tapiwa Tsomondo. Conversion: Joshua Stander. Penalty: Libbok.
Free State Cheetahs (17) – Tries: Ntokozo Vidima, Ox Nche. Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (2). Penalty: De Wet.

Griffons (76) – Tries: Selvyn Davids (3), George Whitehead (3), De Wet Kruger, Norman Nelson, Tertius Maarman, Vuyo Mboto (2). Conversions: Whitehead (9). Penalty: Whitehead.
Leopards (25) – Tries: Tiaan Liebenberg, Roan Grobbelaar, Leon du Plessis, Adriaan Vermeulen. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (3).

Boland Cavaliers (37) – Tries: Ockie van Zyl, Chadley Wenn, Zandre Jordaan, Danwel Demas (2). Conversions: Nico Scheepers (3). Penalties: Scheepers (2).
EP Kings (18) – Tries: Somila Jho, Courtney Winnaar. Conversion: Simon Bolze. Penalties: Winnaar (2).

Welwitchias (12) – Tries: Riaan van Zyl, Darryl de la Harpe. Conversion: Shaun Kaizemi.
Golden Lions (66) – Tries: Bobby de Wee (2), JW Bell (2), Koch Marx, Luvuyisa Lusaseni, Ramone Samuels, Selon Gavor (3). Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (6), Shaun Reynolds (2).

Friday's results

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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