Home Sport Bulls claim bonus-point win over gritty Griquas

Bulls claim bonus-point win over gritty Griquas

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The Bulls just brought too much for Griquas to handle on Saturday, outscoring the hosts by seven tries to four. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The Bulls outscored the Griquas by seven tries to four as they picked up a bonus point from their convincing Currie Cup win in Kimberley on Saturday.

Cape Town — They played into the hands of Griquas early on, but the Bulls’ power eventually became too much to handle as they recorded a convincing 53-27 Currie Cup win in Kimberley on Saturday.

The visitors scored seven tries to four on a warm Northern Cape afternoon to see off a gritty Griquas outfit that didn’t hold back until being worn down by the final quarter, as the Bulls’ superior physicality took its toll.

A 63rd-minute touchdown by veteran Bulls hooker Bismarck du Plessis – who was as industrious around the park as usual – ended Griquas’ quest of claiming another big scalp, having beaten Western Province 22-20 last month.

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But the home side fed off the loose play from the visitors in the first half, which virtually kept them in the game. Instead of using their more experienced and physical forwards to grind down the opposition, the Bulls tried to spread the ball wide from the start, and coughed up possession regularly.

The fast and loose nature of the game suited Griquas, who love nothing more than outflanking their opponents with their dynamic attacking play.

The Bulls opened the scoring through prop Simphiwe Matanzima, who charged around the corner from a line-out and knocked a few defenders out of the way.

But Griquas soon kept the Bulls defence busy, and it paid dividends as a sparkling run by right wing Munier Hartzenberg opened up the field as he beat three defenders, before left wing Luther Obi got the ball and offloaded in the tackle for centre Zander du Plessis to dot down.

Du Plessis missed a penalty attempt, while Griquas were also held up over the line, but from the resultant Bulls goal-line drop-out, flyhalf Theo Boshoff banged over a long-range drop goal to put the hosts 10-7 ahead.

The Bulls’ class shone through eventually, though, and it was fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse who made the difference. The former Blitzboks star hit a half-gap on the left and found a flying Stedman Gans, who drew the last defender and put Cornal Hendricks away for a superb piece of play.

A few minutes later, Arendse was again the spark as he produced a pass off the ground to Canan Moodie, who fed Bismarck du Plessis, who sent lock Walt Steenkamp over.

Blindside flank Arno Botha, who had a busy afternoon on attack and defence, secured the victory and the four-try bonus point after halftime when he benefited from Hendricks’ powerful surge off a lineout, and at 29-15, coach Gert Smal would’ve been a relieved man after opting to pick several players from the United Rugby Championship team.

There was a hint of a comeback from Griquas when Zander du Plessis grabbed his second five-pointer following fullback Rynhardt Jonker’s line-break, but the Bulls quickly set the record straight, with Moodie, Bismarck du Plessis and Keagan Johannes crossing the whitewash.

There was some consolation for Griquas in the closing stages, as replacement Michael Amiras secured a bonus point with their fourth try.

Points-Scorers

Griquas 27 – Tries: Zander du Plessis (2), Hanru Sirgel, Michael Amiras. Conversions: Du Plessis (2). Drop goal: Theo Boshoff (1).

Bulls 53 – Tries: Simphiwe Matanzima, Cornal Hendricks, Walt Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Canan Moodie, Bismarck du Plessis, Keagan Johannes. Conversions: Chris Smith (6). Penalties: Smith (2).

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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