Blue Bulls blitz Falcons
Jurgen Visser (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - The Falcons were no match for the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Friday afternoon, the hosts running out comfortable 49-8 (half-time 35-3) winners in their Vodacom Cup match played at the Loftus Versfeld B field.
The home side's speedy outside backs in particular had a day to remember, left wing Jurgen Visser bagging a hat-trick while wing partner Mastriet and fullback Clayton Blommetjies also crossed the whitewash.
The Bulls' other tries were scored by hooker Robbie Coetzee and replacement back Willie du Plessis, who also kicked two conversions.
Wesley Dunlop, who just four days ago masterminded Tuks to a maiden FNB Varsity Cup title, once again showed off the value of his deadly boot, the flyhalf nailing five out of five to keep the scoreboard ticking along merrily.
The Valke began uncertainly and slightly overawed perhaps, but they finished the first half well, camping on the Bulls' line albeit without the ability to land the killer blow, and enjoyed improved possession in a good second half.
But the men from the East Rand, for all their tenaciousness, were ultimately hamstrung by a lack of firepower out wide.
That being said, replacement centre John-Wessel Bell, who scored their only try, showed off his great footwork on a number of occasions and generally caught the eye.
The Bulls laid the platform for victory with a solid forward display in the first half, with flanker and man of the match Jean Cook powerful on the drive and in defence.
The Bulls, leading by 32 points at the break, lost their rhythm in the second half partly due to a raft of substitutions, but credit must also be given to the Valke for coming back into the game and creating a number of chances.
The hosts' final two tries were against the run of play somewhat, but the scores did show off their superb counter-attacking skills under pressure.
The Bulls' five-point match haul takes them to 16 points and top of the North section ahead of Griquas, who play the Lions on Saturday, and the Pumas, who have a bye.
Blue Bulls – Tries: Jurgen Visser (3), Clayton Blommetjies, Robbie Coetzee, Willie du Plessis, Sampie Mastriet. Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (5), Du Plessis (2).
Falcons – Try: John-Wessel Bell. Penalty: Ruan Coetzee.