Bulls second-half surge sinks spirited Griquas

The Bulls held out against a determined Griquas side and pulled away in the final quarter of the match to register a convincing victory and bounce back after their defeat by the Sharks.

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Despite leading by only four points at the half-time break, and conceding two yellow cards, the Bulls were too strong for Griquas and came away convincing 56-33 winners.

The men from Pretoria looked uncharacteristically out of sorts last week and knew they needed to rebound from their loss to the Sharks if they wanted to retain ascendency on the Currie Cup log. They made an emphatic statement after putting the Griquas to the sword.

Matchflow: It was the visitors who first got on to the scoreboard through the boot of George Whitehead, the flyhalf slotting two penalties to give them an early lead. The Bulls then looked to be in trouble early on after Mornay Smith was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle in the 10th minute.

The Griquas could not capitalise on the man advantage, though, and it was the Bulls who next registered a score as Johan Goosen put over a penalty. Shortly thereafter, Goosen crossed the whitewash and converted his own try to hand the Bulls the lead for the first time in the match.

Two more tries to hooker Schalk Erasmus and the returning Kurt-Lee Arendse left the Bulls sitting pretty with only a few minutes left in the first half. The Griquas, however, refused to lie down and struck back through a try of their own by scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer, cutting the Bulls’ lead to only four points.

The second half was all one-way traffic as the wheels came off for Griquas. Schalk Erasmus and Kurt-Lee Arendse both scored their second tries while there were also five-pointers for Walt Steenkamp, Elrigh Louw and Jan-Hendrick Wessels.

In reply, the Griquas could only manage a 79th-minute try for Jan Uys, a penalty try from a deliberate knockdown by Arendse and five points off the boot of Whitehead.

The Bulls, though, will feel that their season is back on track after last week’s poor performance and will be encouraged by the form of key players such as Elrigh Louw and Johan Goosen.

The Griquas, on the other hand, will be doing much introspection this week. In a season where they have beaten Western Province, the Sharks and Lions, they will feel they did not acquit themselves as well as they could have.