Bulls, Chiefs share spoils

    2014-03-29 16:56

    Pretoria - The Chiefs erased a 16-point deficit to enforce a 34-34 draw with the Bulls in their Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

    With a bonus point for five tries, the visitors took three points out of the match compared to the two of the Bulls to technically emerge as winners of the encounter.

    The home side were not only outplayed by the opposition but they seemed to sabotage their own efforts in the opening exchanges.

    The hosts miraculously managed to keep the Chiefs at arms' length as they went into the half-time break with a one-point deficit.

    In the build-up to the match, the Bulls warned against giving the free-running Chiefs side turnover ball, but they did not seem to heed their own advice.

    The Chiefs scored their two first-half tries from turnovers deep inside their half and could have scored more five-pointers.

    The Bulls gifted the tourists with plenty of turnover ball thanks to handling errors and kickers not finding the touchline.

    Bulls flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter scored the first points of the match through a penalty conversion 10 minutes into the encounter.

    The Chiefs, however, soon demonstrated how easy they make scoring tries look when fullback Mils Muliaina scored their first of five tries.

    The try resulted from a clearance kick that did not go into touch, and instead the visitors ran the ball from inside their own half with Muliaina running into a gap to score the try, with flyhalf Aaron Cruden missing the conversion.

    Four minutes later the Chiefs pounced when the Bulls lost possession in contact inside the opposition's 22 to see Liam Messam scoring for his side.

    Cruden converted the try to give his side a nine-point lead before Potgieter added three more points for his side in the 23rd minute.

    The Bulls, however, bounced back from the early setbacks to find their way over the whitewash in the 29th minute with flanker Deon Stegmann scoring from the back of a driving maul that emanated from a lineout.

    Potgieter missed with the conversion kick and instead of giving his side a two-point lead, a single point separated the sides.

    Four minutes from the break the Chiefs were denied their third try of the half when the Television Match Official ruled Muliaina had knocked the ball on a metre before the line.

    Cruden slotted a penalty conversion in the 37th minute before Potgieter reduced the deficit to one point going into the break.

    The Bulls surged back into contention shortly after the restart when match referee Craig Joubert awarded a penalty try against the Chiefs for collapsing a driving maul metres from the line in the 45th minute.

    Lock Matt Symons received his marching orders for the infringement as Potgieter converted to give his side the lead for the second time in the match.

    Three minutes later the Bulls again made their way over the tryline when flyer Bjorn Basson stepped inside and out again before he put the ball on his right foot to regather for the try.

    Potgieter converted the try and added another penalty conversion in the 55th minute for a comfortable 16-point lead.

    However, the unpredictable Chiefs soon erased the advantage in the last 10 minutes of the match.

    First Gareth Anscombe finished a movement that emanated from a attacking scrum inside their 22 in the 70th minute, with the try-scorer also converting.

    Instead of going for the lineout to setup a driving maul that had been successful for the Bulls, captain Victor Matfield opted for three points in the 75th minute.

    The 12-point cushion proved of little value as the Chiefs scored again through Symons in the 76th minute before Cruden scored at the death to level the scores.

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