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JOIN US FOR THE SHARKS V CHIEFS FROM DURBAN
#SuperRugby - RESULT: A late penalty saved the Bulls as they earned a narrow victory over the Force. #SSRugby pic.twitter.com/AzaW53ghSI— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) March 21, 2015
#SuperRugby - RESULT: A late penalty saved the Bulls as they earned a narrow victory over the Force. #SSRugby pic.twitter.com/AzaW53ghSI
FULL TIME AT LOFTUS
The Bulls have won it by one point. Not the prettiest game of rugby ever played, but the Bulls will take the win.
BULLS 25 - 24
80' - No mistake from the young Springbok flyhalf. Pollard puts the Bulls back into the lead!
BULLS 25 - 24 FORCE
78' - Wow! He sends it straight through the middle and with some distance to spare! The Force lead with 2 minutes to go.
BULLS 22 - 24 FORCE
72' - TRY to the Force! They keep the ball in close, untidily at times and eventually Godwin steps inside and gets over from 10m outs. Ebersohn converts. 1 point in it now!
BULLS 22 - 21 FORCE
67' - PENALTY to the Bulls, the Force not rolling away this time. Pollard converts from 22m out and slightly to the left.
BULLS 22 - 14 FORCE
Astonishing how poor the Bulls are. Lazy, standing off, close-in defence non-existent, no idea with ball, bad for team with their resources— Dan Retief (@retiefdan) March 21, 2015
Astonishing how poor the Bulls are. Lazy, standing off, close-in defence non-existent, no idea with ball, bad for team with their resources
63' - PENALTY to the Bulls. What a strong scrum from them! It puts the Force under huge pressure and they infringe from the resulting ruck as they seal off the ball. Pollard converts from 40m.
BULLS 19 - 14 FORCE
50' - TRY to the Bulls! The thirteen players of the Force cannot keep the Bulls out any longer as van der Merwe forces his way over close to the poles. Pollard converts.
BULLS 16 - 14 FORCE
49' - YELLOW CARD for the Force. Faulkner will send 10 minutes in the bin for the same reason, detaching and coming in on the side of the Bulls maul.
That is two yellow cards in 2 minutes!
44' - TRY to the Force! Wow! The Bulls will not be happy with this. The ball comes back off the upright from the penalty. The Bulls secure it but Wykes does well to rip the ball free and the Force get him over the line. Converted by Burton.
BULLS 9 - 14 FORCE
43' - PENALTY to the Force. Stegmann makes a tackle but doesn't roll away. Burton drives the ball into the right hand upright.
HALF TIME AT LOFTUS
The Bulls lead the Force by 9 - 7. Not the greatest game of rugby so far.
40' - PENALTY to the Bulls! Spies makes a fantastic steal off a Force lineout and Mafi proceeds to leave his feet at the ruck. Pollard kicks at goal but misses.
32' - PENALTY to the Bulls. They took it through a number of phases and eventually Labuschagne goes to ground, but the tackler does not roll away, leading to the penalty. Pollard opts for post and converts easily.
BULLS 9 - 7 FORCE
PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD. 25-24. Oh he's done it again! Pollard hits the mark from 45m to put his side back in front after being on the receiving end of a tip tackle from Coleman.
That's it! The Bulls win. Adam Coleman owes his team a round of beers for that stupid tackle. Thanks for joining us, Cheers!
BULLS 25-24 FORCE
PENALTY, FORCE, EBERSOHN! 22-24. Sias Ebersohn lands a penalty from 60m after Trevor Nyakane is penalised for coming in from the side of a ruck. Hold onto your hats!
Some shocking passing in the Bulls midfield sees the ball go to ground. It's hacked ahead by the Force meaning Kriel must track back and find touch from almost on his own tryline.
CONVERSION, EBERSOHN. 22-21. Sias Ebersohn takes over the kicking duties and hits the target to make it a one-point game.
TRY, FORCE, GODWIN. 22-19. The game is still alive! After the Force maul goes nowhere, the backs have a go and Godwin splits two Bulls front-row forwards to charge over!
Trouble for the Bulls here as the Force find touch in the corner from a penalty. There is still time left for the visitors to snatch this!
Oh dear! Pierre Spies drops the ball under no pressure from a regulation pass with no one in front of him down the touchline. The Bulls will probably win this, but I can't be remembered as a good night for them.
PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD. 22-14. Another penalty to the Bulls sharpshooter after the Force interfere with the scrum-half at a ruck.
Pollard finds touch from a penalty inside his own 22 after the Force dive off their feet. Strauss finds Matfield at the lineout and Bulls look to maul on the Force 10m line.
PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD. 19-14. The hosts have a little bit of breathing room but are not home and clear by any means. Good strike from Pollard for his fourth penalty.
The Force are back to 15 men without conceding any points since that last try. Pollard will have a shot at goal from a ruck penalty against Morahan.
This is embarrassing for the Bulls. They're playing against 13 men and can hardly get their hands on the ball, and when they do, they're making no impression on attack.
Burton MISSES! The Force have left a lot of points by the wayside. But here they come again...the visitors are down to 13 men but they're doing all the playing!
A great break from Kyle Godwin takes the Force deep into the Bulls half. Trevor Nyakane gives away a penalty on the deck. Burton will have shot.
CONVERSION, POLLARD. 16-14. The Bulls have a golden opportunity to build a lead now.
TRY, BULLS, VAN DER MERWE. 14-14. At last the pressure tells. Only the Bulls can have 2 extra men and still not use their backs. Anyway, Marcel van der Merwe powers over from short range.
YELLOW CARD, FORCE, FAULKNER. The visitors are down to 13 men after Tetera Faulkner hits the maul from the side.
The ref warns the Force that he'll send another guy to the bin as they continue to infringe against the Bulls mauls.
YELLOW CARD, FORCE, COLEMAN. After repeated warnings from the ref, the Force are reduced to 14 men as they continue to pull the Bulls' mauls down.
CONVERSION, BURTON. 9-14. The Bulls need to wake up!
TRY, FORCE, WYKES! 9-12. Sam Wykes gets a bizarre try for the Force after the ball bounces off the upright from an attempted penalty from Burton. Jacques du Plessis collects the ball but is shoved back by the advancing Force runners and Wykes rips the ball away to score!
Whoa! Jesse Kriel is under pressure and must hack the ball out after getting a shocking pass in his 22 from Francois Hougaard.
Here we go for the second half as Pollard kicks off. Morne Mellett is on for Dean Greyling.
Pollard misses a penalty on the stroke of halftime after Mafi doesn't release. That's the end of a pretty poor first half. We'll be back in ten.
BULLS 9-7 WESTERN FORCE
Serfontein breaks! He's chopped down a few metres short and Luke Morahan does great work to get his hands on the ball and wins the penalty as Serfontein holds on. Where was the support for the Bulls centre?
The Bulls are keeping ball in hand for a change and are looking dangerous. Godwin breaks after picking up a loose ball but Hougaard does excellent work to try poach the ball back at the tackle and wins the penalty. The Bulls set up the lineout.
PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD. 9-7. Another Pollard penalty puts the Bulls ahead despite their lack of territory or possession.
At last the Bulls have some possession but their attack is hardly making ground. Hougaard makes a halfbreak and wins the penalty as the Force don't release.
Another series of reset scrums keeps play locked around the halfway line. Eventually it comes out and again the Bulls are on the backfoot. Penalty for not releasing and the Bulls set up the lineout.
The Force are doing all the attacking so far. The Bulls have hardly had any territory to speak of. The Force are doing a great job of playing at pace and keeping the Bulls on their toes.
A handful of scrums have gone down but Marcel van der Merwe continues to bind on the arm. The ground is cutting up quite badly under the pressure. Eventually the ball comes out and Marcel Brache makes good ground after he makes a half break.
Burton has a crack at goal from long range after Marcel van der Merwe is penalised for illegal binding at a scrum, but his effort is wide.
The Force clearly have a plan to take on the Bulls defence. They're counter attacking from deep and have a full go with ball in hand, despite the slippery surface. There's plenty of kicking for territory from both teams too though.
A brilliant counter attack from Luke Morahan takes the Force deep into Bulls territory. The Bulls get back in numbers though. Ebersohn tries a drop goal but he is WAY off target.
PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD.6-7. Another long-range penalty from Pollard as McCalman is caught offside.
CONVERSION, BURTON. 3-7. Easy extras from the Force centre Luke Burton.
TRY, FORCE, COLEMAN. 3-5. The visitors strike with the first try! Lock Adam Coleman hits a huge hole at the side of a ruck at pace and races home from 30m out.
PENALTY, BULLS, POLLARD. 3-0. The Bulls fly-half hits the target from inside his own half after the Force are penalised for offside at a lineout.
The Bulls under pressure as the Force try speed the game up with a quick-tap penalty. Dean Greyling gets some attention from the medics after taking a knock to the shoulder. Pollard can clear from his 22 after the Force are penalised at a lineout.
The Bulls are penalised for 'truck and trailer' as they try to maul, so Ebersohn so relieve the pressure.
The Bulls win a scrum penalty after a Force knock-on at the lineout. Pollard sets up the attacking lineout inside the Force 22.
A few kicks from both sides ends in a lineout to the Force on the Bulls 10m line.
Here we go! Sias Ebersohn kicks us off. Francois Hougaard takes it in. The Bulls secure before Paige sends up the ever-predictable box kick.
Hello and welcome to our coverage of this Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, where the rejuvenated the Bulls await the Force.
Bulls props Marcel van der Merwe and Dean Greyling will make their first starts in Super Rugby this year. Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made three changes to his pack as Van der Merwe and Greyling, who both made late starts to the competition due to injury, will swap places with Trevor Nyakane and Mornè Mellett respectively.
In other swap, Grant Hattingh will earn his first start of the season and Victor Matfield will move to the bench.
Flanker Kane Koteka will make his starting debut for the Force. In the second row, Adam Coleman completes his comeback from a hip injury with his return to the starting XV. Sias Ebersohn makes his return to the run-on side at fly-half and will start inside the new midfield pairing of Luke Burton (inside centre) and Kyle Godwin (outside centre).
Luke Morahan will resume his place at his at fullback.
A heavy thundershower earlier today has left the pitch slippery, but the rain has stopped falling.
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