Bulls snatch victory over Lions

Jamba Ulengo scored a try in the final play of the game as the Bulls clinched a 28-24 win over the Lions in Polokwane on Saturday.

A thrilling end to the pre-season match saw the Bulls overturn a 12-point deficit to take the lead for the first time heading into the final 10 minutes before winger Ruan Combrinck scored a last-minute try as the Lions edged back in front.

However, with one final attack, Burger Odendaal created the match-winning try for Ulengo as the Bulls celebrated a morale-boosting victory.

The Bulls made a good start to the match, and won an early penalty at scrum time, but flyhalf Francois Brummer missed the relatively easy shot at goal. A few minutes later and it would be the Lions to open the scoring as Warren Whiteley broke off the back of a scrum to dot down.

On the half-hour mark, winger Ruan Combrinck then extended the Lions’ advantage with another try, but the Bulls crucially hit back just before the break when Jesse Kriel burst over to score after an extended period of pressure.

However, soon after the restart the Lions struck with a typically industrious counter-attack as Combrinck broke away before putting Rohan Janse van Rensburg away to extend the lead to 19-7.

It all changed from there, though, with lock Grant Hattingh first powering his way over the tryline before a beautifully worked try saw Odendaal go over to put the Bulls in the lead for the first time.

The dramatic end to the game then saw the result change hands another two times, but it would be the Bulls to snatch the final result.

Bulls – Tries: Jesse Kriel, Grant Hattingh, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo. Conversions: Francois Brummer (2), Tian Schoeman (2).
Lions – Tries: Warren Whiteley, Ruan Combrinck (2), Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2).

Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jason Jenkins, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Werner Kruger, 24 Pierre Schoeman, 25 Jamba Ulengo, 26 Jade Stighling.

Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Martin Muller, 21 Ruan Ackermann, 22 Stephan de Witt, 23 Ruan Lerm, 24 Faf de Klerk, 25 Howard Mnisi, 26 Stokkies Hanekom, 27 Anthony Volmink, 28 Jaco van der Walt.

Photo: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis