Blue Bulls down Griquas
Louis Fouche (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - The Blue Bulls won their first match 35-20 against Griquas as the new-look Currie Cup competition kicked off at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.
It wasn't easy for the Blue Bulls, however, as flyhalf Louis Fouche came to the rescue, scoring 25 of their points from the boot after the home side trailed 13-9 at the break.
Although the Blue Bulls scored only two tries, their second-half performance showed glimpses of solid build-up play that should stand them in goos stead for the rest of the season.
Griquas were touted to win this match with an experienced and established side and thoroughly deserved their first-half lead.
They were more assured, and except for their poor discipline which probably cost them the match, they looked the better outfit.
However, after the break the Blue Bulls, despite their inexperienced side, ran in their two tries, coupled with the accuracy of Fouche's kicking, as the pivot slotted seven penalties.
The Blue Bulls' forwards in particular were under the cosh.
However, the quality of their reserve strength after the team's depletion by national call-ups was evident in the second half.
Griquas had a quiet second half, scoring a single converted try with lock Martin Muller dotting down following a lineout drive to put the visitors in control.
It was clear that the Blue Bulls, even without their star players in the national squad, have the potential to be a factor in the competition.
Tries: Akona Ndungane, Ruan Snyman
Conversions: Louis Fouche (2)
Penalties: Fouche (7)
Tries: Rocco Jansen, Martin Muller
Conversions: Francois Brummer (2)
Drop Goal: Brummer
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Lionel Cronjé, 22 Jan Serfontein.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 JP Nel, 12 Stephan Watermeyer, 11 Rocco Janse, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Jonathan Adendorff, 6 Justin Downey, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Stef Roberts
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Hanru van Niekerk, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Jaco Nepgen, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Wilmaure Louw