Bulls’ second-half blitz stuns EP

The Vodacom Blue Bulls overturned a three-point half-time deficit to wallop the EP Kings 48-27 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

The Kings led 20-17 at the break, but an outstanding second-half performance by the hosts saw the scoreboard soaring in their favour. This has strengthened the Bulls' grip on second position on the Currie Cup log behind the Golden Lions.

Scott van Breda and Tian Schoeman traded penalties early on, before two converted tries each followed. However, Van Breda nailed a second penalty to give EP the advantage.

The second half started off slowly. Then, EP's Edgar Marutlulle was yellow-carded and the dam wall burst.

Outside centre Dries Swanepoel and scrumhalf Francois Hougaard ran in converted tries to put the hosts in command. They started to dominate territory and possession, and soon added to their tally when prop Werner Kruger and Ruan Steenkamp dottted down.

The Kings pulled seven points back when centre JP du Plessis scored belatedly after the Bulls were reduced to 14 players. Finally, the visitors conceded a seventh try to lock Jacques du Plessis, rounding off a sizzling performance by the Bulls.

Blue Bulls – Tries: Lappies Labuschagne (2), Dries Swanepoel, Francois Hougaard, Werner Kruger, Ruan Steenkamp, Jacques du Plessis. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (4), Louis Fouché. Penalty: Schoeman.
EP Kings – Tries: Tim Whitehead, Elgar Watts, JP du Plessis. Conversions: Scott van Breda (3). Penalty: Van Breda (2).

Blue Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Marvin Orie, 19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 William Small-Smith.

EP Kings – 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (c), 11 Luther Obi, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Paul Schoeman, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Karlo Aspeling.

Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

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