News24

Bulls head to Cape happier

2011-07-23 21:41

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - For one and a half rugby matches at the start of this season’s Absa Currie Cup, we appeared to get a glimpse of a bleaker future at Loftus.

Thumped by the Sharks in the first round in Durban last week, trouble appeared to be setting in fast for the Blue Bulls all over again on Saturday as the Cheetahs ran up a 17-3 lead at one point and hit the break a healthy 11 points to the good in Pretoria.

Never mind that the Bulls, significant monopolisers of both domestic and broader silverware until pretty recently, have currently been stripped of a galaxy of big names: they have to get used to life without such long-time icons as Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez and Gurthro Steenkamp immediately anyway.

Of course the transition period over the next couple of years is hardly going to be a walk in the park; even the most diehard of their fans will realise that.

So what a relief for their faithful that a rally of great magnitude by their mostly fresh-faced side took place against the Cheetahs, who may even have gone down the tunnel for their halftime refreshment misguidedly thinking a surprisingly straightforward victory was in the offing.

But something - or somebody, perhaps - stung the home dressing room into corrective action, as the Bulls pack totally redeemed itself in the second half and helped bring dangerous, hitherto ball-starved customers in much wider areas like Gerhard van den Heever and Akona Ndungane handsomely into the picture on the front foot.

The Bulls eventually closed the see-sawing game out 33-30, having struck the lead for the first time on the hour mark, and although they could not manage a fourth try for a bonus point, just winning this one would have given them immense satisfaction.

Their campaign is thus up and running, even if they are already five points adrift of the unbeaten Lions and Sharks on the table and lie in fifth spot after two rounds.

And with last year’s runners-up Western Province - held to a draw at home by Griquas in the first round - earning a full house away to the whipping-boy Leopards on Friday night, the old “south v north” grudge match at Newlands next Saturday is appropriately set up.

Similarly, Mr Price Kings Park will stage an attractive meeting between defending champions the Sharks and a Cheetahs team presumably miffed about their implosion from such a commanding position at Loftus.

Team of the moment, however, is the Lions, so often the laughing stock of the domestic scene in recent seasons for their variety of woes - both boardroom and on-field - but riding high right now in the 2011 Currie Cup as John Mitchell’s gradual drive to recapture their self-respect bears fruit.

Although the game was often rather wild and woolly, long-suffering Lions enthusiasts won’t mind a bit as they blitzed Griquas in their own Kimberley lair by a vast margin and with eight tries to show for their fury.

Six of them came in a first half marked by scrumhalf Jano Vermaak’s rare hat-trick within 25 minutes and welcome passages of fine team continuity and hand skills.

To South African observers lamenting the manner, for the most part, of the Springbok surrender to the Wallabies in Sydney only a couple of hours earlier, at least some local evidence of attacking sparkle and ambition was a minor comfort.

Expect the Lions to solidify their early, lofty status next time out: they’re at home to the Leopards and even if they fail to match such lustre should win reasonably comfortably to go a promising three from three ...

Next weekend’s fixtures (home teams first):

Friday:

Pumas v Griquas - 19:00

Saturday:
Sharks v Cheetahs - 15:00
Lions v Leopards - 17:00
WP v Blue Bulls - 17:05

Sport24

Comments
  • Bulldozer - 2011-07-23 21:08

    It's going to be a cracker. Nothing wrong with this year's Currie cup.

      Friksepappa - 2011-07-24 09:51

      @Bull Grikewas/Bulle het my Superbru lekker beduiwel...Al wie gaan crack is die visvoete as hulle besef 2011 gaan nog 'n cupless jaar wees...

      Friksepappa - 2011-07-24 09:51

      @Bull Grikewas/Bulle het my Superbru lekker beduiwel...Al wie gaan crack is die visvoete as hulle besef 2011 gaan nog 'n cupless jaar wees...

      Carl Muller - 2011-07-24 10:36

      Agree with you, full of surprises......

      Carl Muller - 2011-07-24 10:36

      Agree with you, full of surprises......

      WPBLIKSEM - 2011-07-24 19:29

      @Bull -Cracker?? Ons gaan julle saterdag WEGBLAAS!!!!!!!! But it's going to be a GREAT game, hou net jou PAPSAKKE reg!!!!! @Friksepoepol- Julle BARS saterdagaand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @Carl Muller - Great comment, keep it up!!!!!!

      WPBLIKSEM - 2011-07-24 19:29

      @Bull -Cracker?? Ons gaan julle saterdag WEGBLAAS!!!!!!!! But it's going to be a GREAT game, hou net jou PAPSAKKE reg!!!!! @Friksepoepol- Julle BARS saterdagaand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @Carl Muller - Great comment, keep it up!!!!!!

      BlueRaven - 2011-07-25 10:49

      WPBLIKSEM soos wat ons volgens JOU met 20+ punte teen die Cheetahs sou verloor? Ai ai ai ou GROOTBEK! lmga

  • Priester - 2011-07-23 21:25

    Looking forward to a GREAT game! I would love the Bulls to win and I have a good feeling they may win but hey this game can go any way and the Stormers are no easy pickings. Good to see some young blood stepping forward not only in the Bulls but all the other teams. Blou Bul Groete!

      WPBLIKSEM - 2011-07-24 19:29

      WP by 7+

      WPBLIKSEM - 2011-07-24 19:29

      WP by 7+

      jk - 2011-07-25 08:33

      ek soek n bonus punt teen diew nulle!!!

  • Bandleader - 2011-07-24 01:37

    Conspiracy theory: is it possible that the Bok management decided to pull the 21 players to make sure we'd all appreciate the Currie Cup in light of the Springbok losses? Maybe if they fired the three stooges posing as Bok coaches we'd believe that SARU's serious about winning? One can only hope...

      BlouBos - 2011-07-24 19:06

      The only conspiracy is the fact that SARFU deliberately select as many Blue Bull players as possible to weakened them to give most other teams an unfair advantage in the Currie Cup.

      BlouBos - 2011-07-24 19:06

      The only conspiracy is the fact that SARFU deliberately select as many Blue Bull players as possible to weakened them to give most other teams an unfair advantage in the Currie Cup.

      jk - 2011-07-25 08:34

      bloubos- wat n klomp bull kan jy nog uitdink..!!!

  • Hein - 2011-07-24 04:51

    Well done Blue Bulls!!!!!!!!! Byt vas - still a long way to go.

  • Tiger - 2011-07-24 08:10

    Geluk Bulle (wat gaan aan met my...raak ek nou 'n softie??)...Julle het bmt gewys-iets wat my geliefde wp en stormers tog so ontbreek!!! Ons kyk maar die naweek wat kom...

      Marius Swart - 2011-07-24 19:11

      @Tiger .Dankie nie baie stormers sal geluk se nie maar well done.Dit was moerse terugveg poging en is trots op die spelers.dankie

      Marius Swart - 2011-07-24 19:11

      @Tiger .Dankie nie baie stormers sal geluk se nie maar well done.Dit was moerse terugveg poging en is trots op die spelers.dankie

      Oukoos - 2011-07-24 19:46

      Ja nee, ek stem saam met jou TIGER. Dit is soos ons die Blou Bulle deur die jare leer ken het - gaan nooit lê nie en toon meestal BMT. Na twee wedstryde het die WP nog nie oortuig nie, maar ek hoop Saterdag is die dag wanneer die WP dinge bymekaar kry. En o ja, geluk Blou Bulle

      Oukoos - 2011-07-24 19:46

      Ja nee, ek stem saam met jou TIGER. Dit is soos ons die Blou Bulle deur die jare leer ken het - gaan nooit lê nie en toon meestal BMT. Na twee wedstryde het die WP nog nie oortuig nie, maar ek hoop Saterdag is die dag wanneer die WP dinge bymekaar kry. En o ja, geluk Blou Bulle

  • Chuck Norris - 2011-07-24 08:16

    Just realized my dog is the grandmother of all stormers. She gives birth to them on an hourly basis! Stormers, can you please come and collect your brothers and sisters? Their all over my lawn!

      jk - 2011-07-25 08:35

      norris jou nutter

  • Chuck Norris - 2011-07-24 08:19

    Think next week is going to be a cracker!

  • Brannas - 2011-07-24 08:23

    Die Bulls is darem maar n' Bul span. Die Currie Cup kom weer hius toe.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-07-24 10:37

    Early days, at least the Bulls are going up, as well as the Stormers....

  • Stompies - 2011-07-24 12:54

    Still no cups, Rob! is the pain so unbearable that you have to be more negative than positve about the Bulls?

  • Robschele - 2011-07-24 14:08

    Ek het regtig gedink die Vrystaat gaan mors met die Bulle en teen halftyd het dit werklik so gelyk. Wat die bulle ingegee is in die kleedkamer weet ek nie maar dit het gewerk. Kan hulle dit weer doen hierdie naweek. Ek hoop nie so nie want ek sal graag wil dat WP moet wen. Daar wag nog baie verrassings vir ons in hierdie Curriebeker seisoen. Almal praat van die top ses maar dit lyk asof die Pumas ook hul haas uit die hoed gaan haal. Dit kom voor asof die Luiperds die familielid is van wie jy nie baie praat nie.

      BlouBos - 2011-07-24 19:00

      Goeie opsomming van naweek se rugby.

      BlouBos - 2011-07-24 19:00

      Goeie opsomming van naweek se rugby.

      Oukoos - 2011-07-24 19:48

      Ek dink die oomblik was uiteindelik te groot vir die Vrystaat se skakelpaar.

      Oukoos - 2011-07-24 19:48

      Ek dink die oomblik was uiteindelik te groot vir die Vrystaat se skakelpaar.

  • !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-07-24 16:32

    One possitive out of the vrystaat bulle game was the bulls no 9. That guy is very good, did not get his name. but I honestly think he has loads of talent !

      BlouBos - 2011-07-24 18:56

      Justin Jinka

      BlouBos - 2011-07-24 18:56

      Justin Jinka

  • BlouBos - 2011-07-24 18:54

    Dit was nie mooi nie, maar ons het weereens karakter en kalmte gewys, wel gedaan. Noudat slot 5 en 6 (Victor, Bakkies, Bekker – alhoewel hy hoort nie hier nie, Allister en Flippie) by die Bokke beseer is moet hulle maar no 7 en 8 Fudge Mabeta en Juandré Kruger by die Bulle kom haal. Hulle was ysters in die wedstryd

      Carl Muller - 2011-07-25 08:16

      Beursie by Loftus opgetel met 'n lisensie vir A B Coetzee daarin. kontak my om uit te vind waar dit is...

  • Carl Muller - 2011-07-25 08:09

    A wallet with a license was picked up at Loftus this weekend. Licence in the name of A B Coetzee. Please contact me for where to find it.

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