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    Bulls bludgeon Brumbies

    2014-05-23 20:50
    Pretoria  -Jacques-Louis Potgieter kicked 22 points as Bulls kept alive hopes of reaching the Super 15 play-offs with a bonus-point 44-23 home triumph overthe  Brumbies Friday.

    AS IT HAPPENED: Bulls v Brumbies

    Victory lifted the Bulls three places to sixth on the combined standings and avenged a semi-finals loss to the Australians last season.

    However, the near-invincibility of the Pretoria franchise at Loftus Versfeld stadium has not been matched on the road and six losses could yet deprive the Bulls of a knockout-stage slot.

    Bulls had the edge in the line-outs and scrums and at the breakdowns and showed flair and strength on attack while defending superbly.

    They established early momentum with a try on eight minutes and were 23-6 ahead by half-time on a cool, clear late South African autumn evening.

    A comprehensive defeat completed a miserable day for the Brumbies, who slipped from second to fourth and surrendered top place in the Australian conference to the Waratahs.

    Yellow cards to fly-half Matt Toomua and substitute hooker Josh Mann-Rea did not help the cause of the 2013 Super 15 runners-up.

    Renowned for a ball-in-hand approach, the Canberra outfit were nearly always on the back-foot with right-wing Henry Speight the lone back to impress.

    Brumbies took just one point from a two-match South African tour after losing 27-21 to Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.

    Potgieter slotted six penalties and two conversions and when substituted midway through the second half, replacement Handre Pollard kicked a conversion.

    Flanker Jono Ross scored two tries and centre Jan Serfontein and left-wing Bjorn Basson one each for the three-time southern hemisphere champions.

    Right-wing Henry Speight, No. 8 Ben Mowen and centre Tevita Kuridrani crossed the try-line for Brumbies and centre Christian Lealiifano kicked a conversion and two penalties.

    "This was pay-back after our semi-final loss last season," said Bulls lock and skipper Flip van der Merwe. "A great start set up our victory."

    Rival skipper Mowen said: "We were well and truly beaten. Now we must regroup as all our remaining matches are tough."

    Veteran Bulls lock Victor Matfield created the first try by selling a dummy to full-back Jesse Mogg and Serfontein darted over.

    Serfontein turned creator for the second try scored by Ross and with Potgieter missing only one of six kicks at goal, the first half belonged to the men in blue.

    Toomua was sin-binned one minute into the second half for a high tackle on centre JJ Engelbrecht and soon after Basson intercepted a Nic White pass and dotted down.

    Brumbies' first try came while reduced to 14 men as stand-in fly-half Speight punished weak tackling to race over under the posts.

    A couple of Potgieter penalties gave Bulls a 37-13 advantage, then Mowen snatched an opportunist try after substitute wing Pat McCabe did well to keep the ball in play.

    The bonus-point try by Ross five minutes from time came from a classic Bulls manoeuvre as they won a line-out and created an unstoppable driving maul.


    Tries: Serfontein, Ross x 2, Basson
    Cons: Potgieter x 2, Pollard
    Pens: Potgieter x 6

    Tries: Speight, Mowen, Kuridrani
    Con: Leali'ifano
    Pens: Leali'ifano x 2
    Yellow card: Toomua


    15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

    Substitutes: 16 Bongo Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers

    15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Robbie Coleman, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (captain), 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Leon Power, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio
    Substitutes: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. JP Smith, 19. Fotu Auelua, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Andrew Smith, 23. Pat McCabe

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