At one point, the home side went from strength to strength and dominated the encounter, simply getting better and easily stretching the lead almost out of sight.
TAFEL Lager Griquas had a hard time at Loftus Versveld on Wednesday afternoon as their hosts, the Vodacom Blue Bulls secured a handsome 56-33 victory in what was these two teams’ first clash in the Carling Currie Cup series.
Griquas were on the scoreboard early with two quick penalties by George Whitehead inside the first 10 minutes of play. However, that advantage was quickly cancelled by the Bulls in the very next minute they secured the ball.
Bulls flyhalf Johan Goosen reeled in the plucky visitors with a penalty of his own and then followed that up almost immediately as he crossed the chalk line for a try that he also converted to put the Bulls 10-6 ahead.
From then onwards Griquas spent much of the first half somewhat on the backfoot as the Bulls ran at them from all angles.
The Bulls duo of Schalk Erasmus and Kurt-lee Arendse also dotted down in short order, taking the score to 20-6.
Griquas then somehow seemed to get their second wind, as has been their way this season, taking the fight to their hosts. Whitehead slotted his third penalty before Stefan Ungerer scored a try five minutes later, which Whitehead also converted to take the score to 20-16 at the break. This session of play held the promise of a fightback by Griquas.
After the break a Whitehead penalty nudged the visitors to 20-19, but having Griquas that close seemed to incense the Bulls who tore away with another try by Wilhelm Steenkamp converted by Goosen increasing the gap again.
Thereafter, the home side went from strength to strength and dominated the encounter. They simply got better and easily stretched the lead almost out of sight.
The Bulls visited Griquas’ góal area frequently and dotted down four unanswered converted tries.
However, Griquas with their familiar never-say-die attitude and in the 79th minute visiting hooker Janco Uys dashed over the tryline and Whitehead made no mistake with the added two points. But that spark from Griquas came much too late in the day to stop the Bulls, and now it is back to the drawing board for Griquas, who will be taking a short trip to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs next Wednesday.
Bulls: 56 – Tries: Johan Goosen, Schalk Erasmus (2), Kurt-Lee Arendse (2), Walt Steenkamp, Elrigh Louw, Jan Hendrik Wessels. Conversions: Goosen (4), Chris Smith (1). Penalties: Goosen (2). Yellow cards: Mornay Smith, Kurt-Lee Arendse
Griquas: 33 – Tries: Stefan Ungerer, penalty try, Janco Uys. Conversions: George Whitehead, Chris Smitt. Penalties: Whitehead (4)