Bulls pip Lions at Loftus
Johannesburg - The Bulls moved to the top of the South African conference with a
35-33 victory over the Lions in a thrilling Super Rugby match at Loftus
Versfeld on Saturday.
As it happened: Bulls 35 Lions 33
The Lions had clawed back from 25-10
down to lead by a single point going into the final 15 minutes before
Bulls number eight Pierre Spies barged over to regain the advantage for
the home side.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard extended the lead with a
penalty, but flanker Jaco Kriel set up a grandstand finish when he
rounded off good pressure from the Lions to score their third try with
three minutes remaining.
The home side managed to hold on in the closing stages and claim a bonus-point win.
The Bulls raced into a 12-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes thanks to two tries from scrumhalf Piet van Zyl.
opposite number Faf de Klerk closed the gap before the home side pulled
away again when JJ Engelbrecht scored a brilliant solo try just before
the half-hour mark.
Pollard added the conversion and two penalties
as the Bulls led 25-13 at the break, with visiting number 10 Elton
Jantjies adding a conversion and two penalties.
Jantjies added two
more penalties in the second half before prop Jacques Van Rooyen
crossed for a try for the Lions, with the former adding a conversion to
put his side in front.
Spies restored the home side's lead 13
minutes later and despite late pressure from the visitors through
Kriel's try, they edged a highly entertaining match.
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morne Mellett, 18 Andrew Beerwinkel, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Pierre Spies, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Jurgen Visser
15. Marnitz Boshoff, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Andries Coetzee, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni, 20. Robert Kruger, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Alwyn Hollenbach, 23. Courtnall Skosan