Bulls maul Cheetahs in Bloem
Bloemfontein - Springbok Handre Pollard contributed 29 points as the Bulls once again proved a bogey team for the Cheetahs with a 39-20 victory in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
As it happened: Cheetahs 20-39 Bulls
The young flyhalf scored a try, kicked three conversions and five penalties, and slotted a drop goal to raise his four-match tally this season to 72 points.
A try each from wing Bjorn Basson and centre Jan Serfontein completed the Bulls' scoring as they won for the 13th time in 14 clashes with the Cheetahs.
Wing Raymond Rhule and loose forward Boom Prinsloo scored a try each for the Cheetahs and flyhalf Joe Pietersen kicked two conversions and two penalties.
Bulls led 23-6 by half-time at Free State Stadium and after the home side closed the gap to six points, the Bulls pulled away for a second consecutive victory.
Winning on the road was particularly pleasing for the visitors from Pretoria as they lost all eight away games last season and failed to make the play-offs.
The 19-point success lifted the three-time Super Rugby champions five places to fifth on the combined southern hemisphere championship table.
Cheetahs, who won their previous two games this season, slipped two places to eighth.
After Pietersen kicked an early penalty, Pollard levelled from his first shot at goal and then dived over from close range, converted his try and kicked another penalty.
A second Pietersen penalty cut the deficit to seven points, only for the Bulls to retaliate with 10 more points as Basson crossed near the touchline and Pollard converted and kicked his third penalty.
Another Pollard penalty made it 26-13 before Prinsloo dotted down after a driving maul off a line-out and Pietersen converted to leave just six points separating the sides.
But the Cheetahs failed to score again and Pollard kicked a penalty, a drop goal and converted a Serfontein try.Teams:
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee. 17 BG Uys, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Steven Sykes, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Johann Sadie
Bulls: 15. Jesse Kriel, 14. Bjorn Basson, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Francois Hougaard, 10. Handre Pollard, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Pierre Spies (captain), 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield, 4. Jacques du Plessis, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Morne Mellett
Substitutes: 16. Callie Visagie, 17. Dean Greyling, 18. Marcel van der Merwe, 19. Grant Hattingh, 20. Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22. Piet van Zyl, 23. Jurgen Visser