Johannesburg - The Bulls produced a commanding performance to defeat the Lions 30-12 in Saturday’s trans-Jukskei Super Rugby derby at Ellis Park.
As it happened: Lions 12-30 Bulls
The visitors dominated the opening proceedings, pegging the Lions down in their half. It paid off, as Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard opened the Bulls’ account with a long-range penalty.
As it happened: Sharks 11-16 Stormers
The Ellis Park siege continued as the Lions survived wave after wave of attacks until eventually No 8 Duane Vermeulen crashed over in the 29th minute.
The Lions were forced to play with little ball from deep inside their half, but errors led to Pollard slotting two more penalties, giving the men from Pretoria a deserved 14-0 lead at half-time.
The Bulls continued to turn pressure into points, earning a kickable penalty from a lineout drive and extending their lead out to 17-0.
But the home side would finally strike at their first real opportunity following a Bulls’ handling error deep in their own half. They kept the ball amongst the forwards and eventually prop Carlu Sadie crossed the whitewash in the 47th minute.
Two more penalty attempts were slotted by Pollard - who produced a man-of-the-match performance - leaving the Lions with much work to do.
But again they capitalised on what little ball they had to work with. Replacement scrumhalf Ross Cronje made a sniping break around the ruck to put prop Dylan Smith under the poles with an offload. With the successful conversion, the Lions were clawing their way back into the contest at 23-12.
Chasing the game, a quick lineout attempt by the Lions 10 metres out from their own tryline proved disastrous. A pass was intercepted and the Bulls would take the ball through the hands to see fullback Warrick Gelant go over in the corner untouched to seal the victory.
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In next weekend's action, the Lions host the Jaguares at Ellis Park (March 9 - 15:05), while Bulls entertain the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld (March 9 - 17:15).
Tries: Carlu Sadie, Dylan Smith
Conversion: Elton Jantjies
Tries: Duane Vermeulen, Warrick Gelant
Conversion: Handre Pollard
Penalties: Handre Pollard (6)
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Nic Groom, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marnus Schoeman, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Vincent Tshituka, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Courtnall Skosan
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Dylan Sage, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw