The Vodacom Blue Bulls romped to a 47-29 bonus-point victory against Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, JON CARDINELLI reports.
The result sees the Bulls extending their unbeaten run in this year's domestic competition. It also sees them recording their first win over WP since 2012.
WP led the Bulls 23-15 at the break thanks to a fortuitous try by Seabelo Senatla and the excellent goal-kicking of Demetri Catrakilis. The visitors extended that lead to 11 points when Dillyn Leyds scored an intercept try after the break, and Catrakilis added the extras.
But that scoreline was never a true reflection of proceedings. While WP bossed the scrums, they were outplayed at the breakdowns. They also struggled at the kickoffs, and their defence, especially in the second half, was a shambles.
The Bulls scored five unanswered tries following Leyds's touchdown. Burger Odendaal was the first to take advantage of some weak WP tackling. Francois Hougaard then created an opportunity when he fed Jamba Ulengo, who showed impressive power to finish.
Travis Ismaiel scored the Bulls' third try when he danced round Cheslin Kolbe in the 58th minute. WP then suffered a further setback when Leyds was shown a yellow card for taking a player out in the air.
The Bulls continued to attack WP during that period. Ulengo claimed his second try, and more importantly the bonus-point score for the Bulls, in the 61st minure. Fullback Warrick Gelant created the opportunity for the winger, and would cross the tryline himself moments later.
Schoeman was not as accurate in front of goal in the second stanza, but still finished the contest with a personal tally of 19 points.
Blue Bulls – Tries: Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo (2), Travis Ismaiel, Warrick Gelant. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (2). Penalties: Schoeman (5), Louis Fouché.
Western Province – Tries: Seabelo Senatla, Dillyn Leyds. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2). Penalties: Catrakilis (5).
Blue Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Dan Kriel.
Western Province – 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Subs: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Charlie van Jaarsveld.
Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images