Jamba Ulengo scored two tries as the Blue Bulls claimed a 41-14 bonus-point win against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Bulls were made to work for this result. Up until the 36th minute of this contest, they led by just 10-9.
Travis Ismaiel provided the spark the Bulls needed in the dying stages of the first half. The winger ran a great line to breach the Pumas defence and score.
The Bulls scored their third try right before the break, and went to the shed with a 24-9 lead. From that point, they were well in control of the contest.
The Bulls scrum impressed over the course of the match. Loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka in particular had a strong game at the set piece and in general play.
It was the synergy of the Bulls forwards that allowed the visitors to claim the bonus-point try. The Bulls set a scrum in the 44th minute, and proceeded to power their way over the Pumas tryline. Captain Hanro Liebenberg was credited with the score after he picked up and dotted down from point-blank range.
Jamba Ulengo scored the visitors' fifth try in the 50th minute. Just as it appeared as if the game was petering out and the Bulls were losing interest, they launched a counter-attack and Ulengo finished to claim his second try of the match.
The result sees the Bulls moving up to third in the Currie Cup log standings and strengthening their bid for semi-final place.
Pumas – Try: Ruwellyn Isbell. Penalties: Francois Brummer (3).
Blue Bulls – Tries: Ulrich Beyers, Travis Ismaiel, Nic de Jager, Hanro Liebenberg, Jamba Ulengo (2). Conversions: Tian Schoeman (3), Joshua Stander. Penalty: Schoeman.
Pumas – 15 Devon Williams, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 De-Jay Terblanche.
Subs: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Leighton van Wyk, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell.
Blue Bulls – 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Irné Herbst, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Divan Rossouw.
Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images