Currie Cup

Bulls snatch draw at Newlands

2013-08-10 19:00
Gio Aplon (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province, the reigning Currie Cup champions, were held to an exciting 24-all draw against the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday evening.

WP produced an adventurous first-half display which saw them score twice in the opening 20 minutes. Their team struck up excellent cohesion, resulting in fine inter-play between backs and forwards.

The Bulls, however, produced excellent passages of play in the second half, especially at the death when they denied the hosts a near-certain win.

VIDEO: WP v Blue Bulls, highlights

The Bulls' early sortie into Western Province's half was cut short after they were penalised twice in the opening four minutes for scrum infringements.

WP used the advantage to transfer play into their opponents' 22m area, where they looked full of running and purpose. Their fullback Gio Aplon opened the scoring in the match with a ninth minute try, which was converted by flyhalf Gary van Aswegen (7-0).

Just after Bulls flyhalf Tony Jantjies struck a penalty, there was more of the same from WP, with Patrick Howard scoring - this time with a converted try in the 20th minute (14-3).

Jantjies reduced the deficit, in the 20th minute, with a second penalty at a time when the Bulls staged a promising fightback (14-6).

However, once WP absorbed the pressure, the Bulls were again under the cosh as the half-time break loomed. WP probably left two tries out on the Newlands turf by the time they retreated to the change-rooms.

The Bulls were vastly transformed when they returned from the break as they made all the play in the opening 10 minutes.

Their sustained pressure was easily worth a try but they spoilt their best effort with a forward pass with the tryline at their mercy. There was a consolation prize, however, as Jantjies goaled a third penalty from close-range (14-9).

The minor setback, which reduced the lead to five points, stung WP into attacking mode and they pulled off a series of moves which earned the hosts their third converted try. Flank Nizaam Carr stalked into the backline before streaking past the Bulls' defence to score next to the posts just on the hour (21-9).

The Bulls stormed back and managed to pin WP down in their 22m area where the home side's defence had remained rock solid, until they allowed centre Francois Venter to streak in at the corner for his team's first try in the 67th minute. Jantjies converted splendidly from the corner (21-16).

In the final 10 minutes of play, Jantjies had two penalty strikes, one of which he made good and with four minutes of play left, the result was balanced on a knife edge (21-19).

Van Aswegen seemed to put the result beyond doubt with a penalty until Bulls' substitute Jean Cook superbly rounded off a counter-attack with a try in the corner (24-24).

Jantjies had the chance to snatch a win for the visitors but he missed the tough conversion.

WP had one last attacking opportunity but couldn't force a penalty in a game they will be left wondering how they didn't bag a victory.


Western Province:

Tries: Gio Aplon, Pat Howard, Nizaam Carr

Conversions: Gary van Aswegen (4)

Blue Bulls:

Tries: Francois Venter, Jean Cook

Conversion: Tony Jantjies

Penalties: Jantjies (4)


Western Province:

15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Alistair Vermaak, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Ruan Kitshoff, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Berton Klaasen

Blue Bulls:

15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellet.

Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Marcell van der Merwe, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Clayton Blommetjies

Read more on:    blue bulls  |  wp  |  currie cup  |  cape town  |  rugby

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