Bumbling Bulls edge Pumas

2011-08-12 19:31

Nelspruit - It was another tough day at the office for the Vodacom Blue Bulls as they managed to eke out a 16-12 (half-time 10-0) victory over the Ford Pumas in their Absa Currie Cup match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.

The Bulls can now enjoy a relaxed weekend on the farm having lifted themselves off the bottom of the log, but it was an arduous, punishing slog to overcome a Pumas side that played with tremendous passion.

The Bulls opened the scoring in the 16th minute when wing Bjorn Basson, who ran challenging lines all night, burst through the tackle of Pumas flyhalf Ricardo Croy and then weaved his way over the line.

Flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff added the conversion, plus a 24th-minute penalty to give the Bulls a 10-0 lead.

That was the half-time score, but the Pumas had been more competitive than the scoreline suggested, the many good things they did being spoilt by stupid basic mistakes.

But the winless men from Mpumalanga weren't about to lie down and accept their fate, remembering, of course, that they had beaten the Bulls in the same stadium last year.

Good running by the Pumas from the kick-off brought them near enough for Croy to kick a penalty in the 44th minute, and, seven minutes later, a turnaround in fortunes at the scrum saw Australian referee Andrew Lees espy a Bulls offence and Croy knocked over a second penalty (10-6).

The Bulls, for all their possession, did not make enough use of their ball and one of the reasons why was their tendency to kick the ball away needlessly on attack.

One such ill-judged kick by Boshoff was blocked by the boot of livewire Pumas flank and captain Corne Steenkamp and the under-pressure Bulls then conceded a ruck penalty, which Croy converted (10-9).

The tables would be turned again in the scrums when the Bulls earned a penalty on the hour mark, which Boshoff kicked to stretch the Bulls lead to 13-9, but Croy quickly replied with a penalty of his own after fine running, handling and support play by the Pumas led to a penalty when Deon Stegmann went off his feet at a ruck (13-12).

But the Bulls nerves would finally be settled with just a minute to play as replacement flyhalf Louis Fouche made it a debut to remember as he slotted a marvellous drop goal from 35 metres out to seal victory.

But it was certainly no quick and easy kill for the Bulls and there remains a long way to go for them to be considered serious Currie Cup contenders.


Ford Pumas - Penalties: Ricardo Croy (4).

Vodacom Blue Bulls - Try: Bjorn Basson. Conversion: Marnitz Boshoff. Penalties: Boshoff (2). Drop goal: Louis Fouche'.


15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Tian Meyer, 11 MJ Mentz, 10 Ricardo Croy, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Doppies le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corne Steenkamp (captain), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Eduan van der Walt, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 1 Dawie Steyn

Substitutes: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Rudi Mathee, 19 RW Kember, 20 Hendrik van der Nest, 21 Tiaan Marx, 22 Johan Jackson

Blue Bulls:
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Zane Kirchner, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Francois Venter


  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-12 19:37

    A walk in the park.

      Brannas - 2011-08-13 10:38

      A clinical display by the Bulls. A sign of a champion team that they are

      Vickers - 2011-08-13 12:09

      Now that may just be where the problem is situated. If the Bulls stop this walking in the park thing and start to do some running they might just return to their winning ways

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-13 14:03

      We call it satire Vickers

  • Carel Venter - 2011-08-12 19:53

    Agree, never seen a team being so outplayed than the Pumas tonight.

      Kaapie - 2011-08-12 21:12

      The score doesnt tell that story

  • Priester - 2011-08-12 20:20

    Not a win to boast about but we will take the points. Defense was better but the Bulls still lack discipline. Jano did make a difference but no fireworks. I guess he still needs to settle down in the team. Fouche had a good first game while Zane did produce some good brakes. The Bulls still lack the fire and hunger to win. Blou Bul Groete!!

      Juggernaut - 2011-08-12 21:24

      brakes? wtf

      Priester - 2011-08-12 21:34

      Aaaaag Juggernaut jy weet wat ek bedoel. Moet ek nou se ek is jammer omdat ek nie so goed met die engels is as jy nie?

      FAKTAP - 2011-08-13 09:29

      Juggernaut, "Brakes", that is what Zane applies when he sees a defender near him. does it make sense now???

      mike881 - 2011-08-13 10:02

      Deon Stegmann always good for a handfull of penalties every game. Flip vd Merwe unfortunately also seems to be going the same way - a good player but with serious discipline issues.

  • Rijger - 2011-08-12 20:21

    Ja. My grandson told his mom tonight he wants to become a Blue Bull. Asked why, he answered that they only get hidings on weekends!

      BAH - 2011-08-12 21:11

      LOL.. Apparently they caught some bulls supporters sneaking through the fence. Security took them back to their seats and forced them to whatch the game till the final whistle! (Old one but I still enjoy it and I am a Bulls supporter!)

  • BlueRaven - 2011-08-12 21:32

    Sjoe Bulle ook maar net net! Maar n wen is n wen. Big smile! HUGE! Go Bulls!

      BiggestBull - 2011-08-13 09:48

      Absoluut maar wen is 'n wen en ons het dit verdien.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-08-12 22:34

    Al wat jy sien is die blou masjien

      BiggestBull - 2011-08-13 09:46

      Jy's kommin man.

  • Bokmad - 2011-08-12 23:24

    Tough fixture for me - been supporting the Bulls (Northern Transvaal) since I was a laaitjie. I grew up in the Lowveld and back then, there was no Puma's to support. Happy that the Bulls are back to winning ways, but something doesn't feel right :)

      Priester - 2011-08-13 07:48

      Agree, it is as if the Bulls are just going through the motions, no drive, no passion and it seems there is no cohesion in the team. We should not discard the fact that the Pumas are no slouches either and very dangerous at home, capable of derailing any team. Blou Bul Groete

      ChumScrubber - 2011-08-13 14:06

      Weird, the Eastern Transvaal team was based in Springs - whats Eastern Transvaal about that? I think the Lowveld was represented by South Eastern Transvaal - they must have been a Nelspruit based team? Anyway, Mbombela gets the best crowds when the Bulls play - with most supporting the Bulls, so it should be like a home game for them.

      Bokmad - 2011-08-14 00:24

      Yes, I think SET were playing out of Witbank. Again, not really the lowveld. But very happy that the young kids in the Lowveld have a team to support now and Nelspruit is a good venue for the Pumas, so looking good for them. As for me, I suppose I'll have to support the Bulls and the Pumas and deal with my demons when they play each other.

  • Kleinboet - 2011-08-13 00:03

    Blue Bulls, I cannot congratulate you on this win. I think the fact that you pocketed four points will have to be sufficient solace. You had 8? Springbokke in your team, and you still lost the 2nd half 6 -12. Well, it's back to the drawing board for you if you want to make good that boast that the Currie Cup is not won in August. OK,so my team lost to the Sharks, but at least it took a Michalak in top form to accomplish that. At least we can only improve, but can you?

      Priester - 2011-08-13 08:03

      @Kleinboet Did you forget that the Sharks that beat you also won with only one point against the Pumas? If you were a true sportsman and your comment would have been more constructive and not just sour grapes because your team lost. Refer my previous comment; the Pumas do have the capacity to derail any team, including your beloved WP. I think you will be very embarrassed should the Pumas beat you and we refer you to this posting of you. Your comment is in typical WP arrogance style. Blou Bul Groete my maat.

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-13 08:20

      Oh please Kleinboet! Disappointed WP lost? The Pumas are a much better side than people give them credit for. Show me the team that had an easy game against them so far. The only team that managed to beat them with more than 7 points were the Leopards, and I think that was a case of the Pumas thinking easy pickings and lost. I don't think the Bulls will win the CC this year, new coach new team (granted not all new players), but I don't think WP will win the CC either. In my opinion the Lions are the team to beat in the CC this year. Bulls forever

      Kleinboet - 2011-08-14 00:58

      I never predicted a Currie Cup for WP this year. Afterall, we have only a bunch of youngsters without experience on this level, and it would be preposterous to expect them to win the cup. What I am criticising on your part is that you play with many Springbokke in your side but perform like rookies. You agree you threw away at least three tries and that is BAD - I will not congratulate you on your win if that is the type of careless, unattractive rugby you play. Sharks are loaded with international players and not a B team by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, the WP is severely understrenght at the moment. Yet, we played well enough that the match could have gone our way with a little luck. I take heart from that fact and predict that WP will improve week by week. If we should loose to the Pumas, I sincerely hope it will be with more honour than your half-hearted win brought you. @Whoosa, I am not 'you lot', I am an individual and if you followed my earlier postings you might have noticed that my 'kleintril' is much, much bigger than yours - if you have one at all! @ BlueRaven, I agree wholeheartedly that the Golden Lions are in superb form. It will be good for SA rugby if they could keep it up throughout the season. Still, do not begrudge me that I hope my beloved WP will be able to pull some wool over their eyes this coming weekend! @Priester, "typical WP arrogance style"? There was nothing arrogant in my posting! I merely remarked that I expected a better win by you

      Whoosa - 2011-08-14 08:03

      Kleinboet, the nature of your post was "typical WP arrogance style". Typical suurgatgeid cause your little showponys couldnt hold themselves against an pritty average sharks side. If you dont want to congratulate us, why the f comment on this article then? Ive said this many times before, i have never had a problem with wp as a team, but its their supporters that gets to me. Fickle bunch you lot. Always ranting, raving, bitching and moaning about you guys being the best and not getting the representation for your players at springbok level. Stop worrying about our bulls, we are on the right track. Start worrying about your "abundance of ubertalented gods gift to rugby cc winning world beating youth" that are way under performing and choking at the moment. And yes, i am sorry for refering to you as part of 'the lot", you are not even worthy of that tag. You are right, you are an individual, a sad one. In the words of the famous "BrickTop" - "Now Faakof" (if you are prveilidged enough to have Mnet and watched Snatch before) .

  • Northern Stormer - 2011-08-13 07:06

    Congrats Bulls, Well played Pumas - you guys deserved better than this loss !!!

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-13 07:41

      I agree, the Pumas are a better team than people give them credit for, came close in most games. How about beating WP?

      Northern Stormer - 2011-08-13 08:25

      @BlueRaven - Nee man moet nou nie so wees nie - alhoewel hulle het n blerrie goeie kans om enige span op hulle moer te gee !!!

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-13 08:42

      My point exactly! Ps. WP had a good game against the Sharks.

  • wbs777 - 2011-08-13 08:34

    I wish someone could explain to me why the Bulls, having two Super 14 - winning coaches on their staff, choose to have the currie cup team coached by a varsity coach. Maybe I'm stupid, but it doesn't make sense at all. If the Bulls continue to play as they did last night, they can forget to be a strength in SA rugby. It's clear they have no gameplan. Bring back Heyneke Meyer or Frans Ludeke

      BiggestBull - 2011-08-13 09:48

      I agree! Why not keep Ludeke as the Currie Cup coach?

      FJ2 - 2011-08-13 11:16

      Maybe they're investing in the future? I recall Ludeke also struggling at first, and look at him now?! Judge Pienaar after 4 years or so.

  • Mark - 2011-08-13 08:42

    What a Pisspoor referee. he does not know the tackle laws or who is the "tackle assist" Various times when Steggman robbed the ball he was on his feet and not the tackler or assist......Shocking that the CC has such bad refs and coaches and players are not allowed to comment..

      Capt Morgan - 2011-08-13 10:10

      Agree 100%

  • BlueSilver - 2011-08-13 10:14

    Good game Pumas! Bulle, you almost gave me a heart attack but hey, I still beleive in you and know that you will get better with every game!! Bulls Forever!!! Cheetahs / Lions, good luck, may the best team win! Sharks, only just, but well done! Bokke, behind you all the way!! Go Bokke!!!

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