Bulls battered black and Blues
Garrin Lambley - Sport24 Editor
Cape Town - The Bulls got their New Zealand tour off to a losing start, going down to the Blues at the QBE Stadium in Albany on Saturday.
As it happened: Blues v Bulls
The Blues won 38-14 after the sides were dead-locked at 7-all at half-time as the first match between New Zealand and South African opposition in this year's tournament displayed the stark gulf that still exists between the two nations.
The Blues scored six tries through scrumhalf Augustine Pulu, wings Matt Duffie (2) and Melani Nanai and replacements, flyhalf Ihaia West and hooker Matt Moulds. Starting pivot Piers Francis added two conversions, while West added two late two-pointers of their own.
The Bulls, who were forced into attempting to defend for large parts of the 80 minutes and looked dead on their feet in the second stanza in particular, replied with tries by prop Lizo Gqoboka and replacement scrumhalf Rudy Paige. Flyhalf Handre Pollard and his replacement Tian Schoeman added conversions.
The Blues picked up a full-house of five points for their victory, but stayed fourth in the highly competitive New Zealand Conference.
The Bulls left empty-handed and remained third in the Africa Conference 1.
In next weekend's Round 6 action the Blues welcome the Force to Auckland (Saturday, April 1 at 06:15 SA time), while the Bulls continue their overseas tour with a visit to Hamilton to play the unbeaten Chiefs (Saturday, April 1 at 08:35 SA time).
15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 John-Roy Jenkinson