LIVE

    Bulls buoyed by Sharks test

    2013-07-07 17:30

    Pretoria - The Bulls' nervous victory over a determined Sharks side was a repetition of what they could expect in the Super Rugby playoffs.

    The Pretoria-based side nearly came unstuck against the coastal side but the 20-19 victory at Loftus Versfeld launched them into the first place on the overall log.

    The Bulls are two points clear of the Chiefs at the top of the standings and could consolidate their position with a victory over the Stormers in their final round-robin match in Cape Town next week.

    Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter was visibly relieved and said his team had used their "get-out-of-jail card" against the Sharks.

    "It was intense but I just want to take a step back and say hats off to our guys for keeping composure and showing some resilience," Potgieter said.

    "The bounce of the ball and one or two calls went against us but they really stood up and this was a big win for us."

    The Bulls left it late for the slender victory and also got the rub of the green as Sharks fullback Riaan Viljoen missed with his penalty attempt with two minutes left on the clock.

    The scoreline was also coincidentally the same as the two sides' 2007 Super Rugby final when the Bulls claimed the title in the dying moments of that match.

    The match developed into one of the best derbies of the season as both team's dished up thrilling performances.

    The Bulls trailed the visitors 19-13 until replacement scrumhalf Jano Vermaak scored the decider with flyhalf Morné Steyn converting for the lead with eight minutes to spare.

    Bulls coach Frans Ludeke commended his charges for grinding out the victory.

    "We had a lot of opportunities but we didn't finish them off in the first half and we just kept going," Ludeke said.

    "Credit to the leaders on the field and for the way the players just stuck together and pulled it off in the end.

    "That is the kind of character you need in this final phase."

    The home side were severely penalised by referee Jason Jaftha particularly at the breakdowns, while the Sharks went relatively unpunished in this facet of the game.

    Potgieter said would determine what they did wrong during their review of the match and remedy the problem as soon as possible.

    "A lot it came down to the breakdown and how it was refereed tonight and we needed to make an adjustments," he said.

    "The breakdown is one of the biggest parts of the game these days and maybe we sometimes went in there with reckless abandon.

    "It is a good learning school for the guys to see that sometimes the interpretation is going against you and then you need to adjust from that."

    He said the team adjusted in this area of play by committing less players in the breakdown with more staying on their feet and find other ways of forcing the turnovers.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    152 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    01 May 2015
    • Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
    • Brumbies v Waratahs, GIO Stadium 11:40
    02 May 2015
    • Blues v Force, Eden Park 07:30
    • Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Chiefs, AAMI Park 11:40
    • Cheetahs v Stormers, Free State Stadium 17:05
    • Bulls v Lions, Loftus Versfeld 19:10
    08 May 2015
    • Crusaders v Reds, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 11:40

    Results

    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The South African Conference is up for grabs after Round 9 of action. Who do you see finishing top when all is said and done?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.