Pretoria -Jacques-Louis Potgieter kicked 22 points as Bulls kept alive
hopes of reaching the Super 15 play-offs with a bonus-point 44-23 home
triumph overthe Brumbies Friday.AS IT HAPPENED: Bulls v Brumbies
Victory lifted the Bulls
three places to sixth on the combined standings and avenged a
semi-finals loss to the Australians last season.
near-invincibility of the Pretoria franchise at Loftus Versfeld stadium
has not been matched on the road and six losses could yet deprive the
Bulls of a knockout-stage slot.
Bulls had the edge in the
line-outs and scrums and at the breakdowns and showed flair and strength
on attack while defending superbly.
They established early
momentum with a try on eight minutes and were 23-6 ahead by half-time on
a cool, clear late South African autumn evening.
defeat completed a miserable day for the Brumbies, who slipped from
second to fourth and surrendered top place in the Australian conference
to the Waratahs.
Yellow cards to fly-half Matt Toomua and substitute hooker Josh Mann-Rea did not help the cause of the 2013 Super 15 runners-up.
for a ball-in-hand approach, the Canberra outfit were nearly always on
the back-foot with right-wing Henry Speight the lone back to impress.
took just one point from a two-match South African tour after losing
27-21 to Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.
slotted six penalties and two conversions and when substituted midway
through the second half, replacement Handre Pollard kicked a conversion.
Jono Ross scored two tries and centre Jan Serfontein and left-wing
Bjorn Basson one each for the three-time southern hemisphere champions.
Henry Speight, No. 8 Ben Mowen and centre Tevita Kuridrani crossed the
try-line for Brumbies and centre Christian Lealiifano kicked a
conversion and two penalties.
"This was pay-back after our
semi-final loss last season," said Bulls lock and skipper Flip van der
Merwe. "A great start set up our victory."
Rival skipper Mowen said: "We were well and truly beaten. Now we must regroup as all our remaining matches are tough."
Veteran Bulls lock Victor Matfield created the first try by selling a dummy to full-back Jesse Mogg and Serfontein darted over.
turned creator for the second try scored by Ross and with Potgieter
missing only one of six kicks at goal, the first half belonged to the
men in blue.
Toomua was sin-binned one minute into the second half
for a high tackle on centre JJ Engelbrecht and soon after Basson
intercepted a Nic White pass and dotted down.
Brumbies' first try
came while reduced to 14 men as stand-in fly-half Speight punished weak
tackling to race over under the posts.
A couple of Potgieter
penalties gave Bulls a 37-13 advantage, then Mowen snatched an
opportunist try after substitute wing Pat McCabe did well to keep the
ball in play.
The bonus-point try by Ross five minutes from time
came from a classic Bulls manoeuvre as they won a line-out and created
an unstoppable driving maul.Scorers:Bulls:
Tries: Serfontein, Ross x 2, Basson
Cons: Potgieter x 2, Pollard
Pens: Potgieter x 6Brumbies:
Tries: Speight, Mowen, Kuridrani
Pens: Leali'ifano x 2
Yellow card: Toomua Teams:Bulls
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Bongo Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich BeyersBrumbies
15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Robbie Coleman, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (captain), 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Leon Power, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. JP Smith, 19. Fotu Auelua, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Andrew Smith, 23. Pat McCabe