It was tries galore at the Griqua home base as the Blue Bulls outscored Griquas seven tries to six for a narrow 45-40 victory
The Vodacom Blue Bulls held their nerve in a tight encounter against Tafel Lager Griquas at Tafel Lager Park to boost their campaign in the DirectAxis Financial Services and Nashua Currie Cup this weekend.
The Xerox Golden Lions and Cell C Sharks, meanwhile, continued their fine form in the competition as they produced the goods to earn their third round of bonus-point wins for a full house of points halfway through their campaigns.
It was tries galore at the Griqua home base as the Blue Bulls outscored Griquas seven tries to six for a narrow 45-40 victory.
The visitors snatched their bonus point early in the first half with a brace of tries from centre Franco Naude, scrumhalf André Warner, and hooker Jaco Visagie with flyhalf Mannie Libbok converting all four efforts.
Both teams delivered a balanced showing between their forwards and backs and did well to capitalise on their try-scoring chances. But in the end the Blue Bulls’ committed defence in the dying minutes ensured that they earned the victory, as the hosts fought until the final whistle.
Griquas conditioning and fitness coach Neil Murphy told the DFA after the game that despite the result there were many good things that came from the game. “Even though we are very disappointed in the result, we can look at many positives taken from this game,” he said.
“We matched the Bulls at most times at the set-piece battle and our backs were excellent at running at the defence with hard physical actions the two yellow cards dished out to the visitors helped us somewhat,” Murphy added.
“It would have been a fantastic result for us if we pulled it off we never stopped fighting till the end,” the coach said.
Murphy hinted that the challenge would be just as tough this weekend. “We need to dust off, put this one to bed and prepare to take on a wounded Cheetahs outfit next week, who will be ready to get a first win as well,” Murphy said.
In Johannesburg, the Golden Lions produced a classy first-half display against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, which paved the way for their morale-boosting 47-14 victory, and pushed them to the top of the log.
Such was their dominance in the first half that they ran in an impressive five tries for a 33-0 lead, while the visitors found themselves feeding off the scraps in the first 40 minutes and battling to shut out the hosts on defence.
The Sharks, meanwhile, produced a strong second-half showing against the iCollege Pumas in Durban to overturn a 12-7 half-time deficit for their victory.
Griquas vs Blue Bulls
Griquas (40), Tries: André Swarts (2), Nicolaas Oosthuizen, Eital Bredenkamp, AJ Coertzen, Penalty Try; Conversions: George Whitehead (4).
Blue Bulls (45), Tries: Franco Naude (2), André Warner, Jaco Visagie, Edgar Marutlulle, Jano Venter, Ivan van Zyl; Conversions: Mani Libbok (5).