Bulls 'strangled' Stormers
Cape Town - Nick Mallett
says the Bulls strangled an inexperienced Stormers side in their Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria at the weekend.
The injury-depleted Stormers took a surprising 12-0 lead after 19 minutes, with flyhalf Kurt Coleman and centre Juan de Jongh scoring spectacular tries.
But the home side remained calm and started to assert their dominance at the set pieces, which laid the platform for flyhalf Handré Pollard to kick 20 points in a 28-12 victory.
Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, said the Stormers were brave but were outplayed physically.
"I thought that the Bulls, in the last 60 minutes, got into the rhythm of their kicking game, making sure that they strangled the Stormers, played all the rugby in their half. The Bulls would've been a bit perturbed by that first 12 minutes, when the Stormers came out and played really well.
"But the reason it went off the boil was because the Stormers pack just couldn't stand up. They've used numerous locks this season. That was a very young front row and even though they had a good loose trio, it was the front five that couldn't maintain decent possession of the ball today. The Bulls played the right sort of rugby to win it."
Mallett was also impressed with the tactical games of scrumhalf Francois Hougaard
and flyhalf Pollard, while he also singled out centre Jan Serfontein.
"Serfontein was outstanding and did very good work at the breakdown, because they are still lacking an out-and-out fetcher. If they're going to go further, that might be the area that's going to let them down."
The Bulls have a bye this weekend, while the Stormers tackle the Force at Newlands on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).