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Strauss: "You can't defend for 80 minutes against the Blues ..."
Schoeman knocks over the conversion, but it's been a day to forget for coach Nollis Marais and his men.
FT: Blues 38-14 Bulls
Anyone caught your eye? Did Nollis get this one right? Get in there and rate the players, coach and ref - https://t.co/utr5AOKSqy— AllOutRugby (@AllOutRugby) March 25, 2017
Anyone caught your eye? Did Nollis get this one right? Get in there and rate the players, coach and ref - https://t.co/utr5AOKSqy
Bulls looking to be imploding as Blues move them around the park ... perhaps ruining @Superbru picks for everyone? Or making them ...— AllOutRugby (@AllOutRugby) March 25, 2017
Bulls looking to be imploding as Blues move them around the park ... perhaps ruining @Superbru picks for everyone? Or making them ...
It was 7-7 at half time, but the Bulls performance in this 2nd half has been woeful.
To be fair, they weren't overly inspiring in the first half, either. But at least then they were scrapping. Now, they look like defeated.
Simply a case of keeping the ball alive and moving it quickly. The Bulls have no answer. The Blues moved that across the whole width of the field and it feels like everybody touched the ball.
Ball retention at pace and with purpose ...
Score with 14 men against a defence like that. Sigh— Brenden Nel (@BrendenNel) March 25, 2017
Score with 14 men against a defence like that. Sigh
Intelligence is not the Bulls' primary quality today. Trying to establish what is.— Rob Houwing (@RobHouwing) March 25, 2017
Intelligence is not the Bulls' primary quality today. Trying to establish what is.
Gqoboka off for Schoeman
Gelant off for Odendaal
Not Ulengo's finest five minutes ...— Front Row Grunt (@FrontRowGrunt) March 25, 2017
Not Ulengo's finest five minutes ...
55' TRY BLUES! Duffie again! Francis went for a delicate cross-kick, and Duffie rose above Ulengo and made the grab!
That could be curtains for the Bulls ...
Jamba hand tackle, Blues try.— Zelím Nel (@Zels77) March 25, 2017
Jamba hand tackle, Blues try.
The Bulls defence finally broken! It took one quick offload, and it was finished off by right wing Matt Duffie!
Jamb Ulengo's defence being questioned.
Conversion good. Blues 14-7 Bulls ...
Don't think I have heard Jesse Kriel's name all game ... Ball not getting past Serfontein and other one off runners at the moment— Front Row Grunt (@FrontRowGrunt) March 25, 2017
Don't think I have heard Jesse Kriel's name all game ... Ball not getting past Serfontein and other one off runners at the moment
TRY, BULLS, PAIGE! 38-12: Bulls pull back a consolation try as Paige takes it over the line. The TMO confirms the try.
CONVERSION, BULLS, SCHOEMAN! 38-14: Schoeman kicks the conversion perfectly and the deficit brought down to 24 points.
FULL-TIME: BLUES 38-14 BULLS. The late try takes nothing away from great second half for the Blues and a win with the bonus point. Blues win at home and Bulls have put in a poor performance today. They will have a tougher time next week when they face the Chief.
The referee is checking for the try with the TMO as the hooter has sounded.
Poor performance from the Bulls, but the Blues have bounced back after the first half. Bulls will have a tough time next week against the Chiefs.
Two minutes left in the game and the Blues look like they will win with the bonus point.
Messy scrum and the Bulls win a penalty. Then the Bulls attack but the Blues are quick to repel.
CONVERSION, BLUES, WEST! 38-7: Nice kick to add on the extras from West and Blues extend their lead to 31 points with 5 minutes remaining in the game.
TRY, BLUES, NANAI! 36-7: From the kick-off, the Blues got a huge overlap on the right, West made good ground and the ball eventually ended up in Nanai's hands, racing away down the sideline for a stunning try.
CONVERSION, BLUES, WEST! 31-7: West makes no mistake this time as he adds on the extras and pushes the score to 31-7.
TRY, BLUES, MOULDS! 29-7: That should seal the bonus point for them and Blues score another try as Moulds takes it over the line. They made a lot of ground, stretched the defence and the Nanai's pass helped Moulds take it over the line.
Blues have played really well in the second half, after a poor first half. Moulds breaks for them and takes the ball forward to cover a lot of ground. Blues on the attack again.
Tupou is back from the sin bin so the Blues are back to full strength.
The Blues concede a penalty through Murphy Taramai for not rolling away from the ruck.
The conversion is missed but Blues lead by 17 points. Good try from West after the dummy pass, he ran through the hole and scored a fast try.
TRY, BLUES, WEST! 24-7: The TMO is called into action for checking if the Blues have scored here. West takes it over the line for the Blues and some good work from Kaino sets up the try.
A couple of quick turnovers from both sides and Bulls concede a penalty for a high tackle by Kirsten on West.
Blues concede a penalty through Sione Mafileo for boring in at the scrum. Bulls win a penalty from the scrum.
A collision in the air but no one is hurt. It will end in a Bulls scrum as Collins knocked on the ball.
Blues win a loose pass and Tuipulotu attacks for them and makes some good ground.
YELLOW! Jimmy Tupou is shown the yellow card for foul play. He will proceed to the sin bin and the Blues will be down to 14 men.
The Blues concede a penalty for not releasing the ball.
The conversion is missed as Francis kicks it to the right of the posts. Blues lead by 12.
TRY, BLUES, DUFFIE! 19-7: Francis with the cross kick and Duffie does well to score his second try of the game. The Blues are coming back strongly in the second half.
The Blues have a 5 metre scrum. A poor throw from Parsons and Bulls win the lineout but the move ends well for the Blues who win a scrum.
The Bulls concede a penalty through Adriaan Strauss for hands in the ruck.
Gibson attacks from the right for the Blues, they have played better in the second half so far. The Bulls are defending well.
The Bulls concede a penalty through Jason Jenkins for obstruction. Francis with another good kick, finding touch 10m inside the Bulls' half.
CONVERSION, BLUES, FRANCIS! 14-7: Francis adds the extras and the Blues are back in front 14-7.
The Blues concede a penalty through Pauliasi Manu for joining the ruck incorrectly.
TRY, BLUES, DUFFIE! 12-7: Matt Duffie scores for the Blues! This is their second try and they take the lead. They have started the second half well.
Nick de Jager concedes a penalty for hands in the ruck and Francis finds touch about 30m out.
A few long kicks from either side and then Pollard eventually finds touch but the Blues take it quickly and then Pulu kicks it well out on the full.
Second half begins.
HALF-TIME: BLUES 7-7 BULLS. It has not been the best 40 minutes of play from both sides and the score reads 7-7. The Blues lacked imagination after a fast start and they made a lot of errors. Bulls managed to score but they were also guilty of basic errors.
Pollard finds touch 5m out and it will be a lineout to the Blues.
Good lineout from the Blues and Pulu bangs the ball away.
Collins tries to put a kick through but Bulls gather it quickly and clear deep.
Less than 5 minutes left in the half and Blues concede a penalty through Charlie Faumuina for obstruction. Another mistake from the hosts.
The Blues win another penalty, on halfway. Another chance to build some pressure - providing they avoid errors this time. Lineout just outside the 22. Bulls are defending well in their half.
The Bulls concede a penalty through Ruan Steenkamp for being caught offside. Francis drives the kick to the left of the uprights and Blues are not able to take the lead.
Advantage being played as the Blues string together a few phases outside the 22.
Poor moves from the Blues and they have really made some crucial errors today. Duffie makes good ground and the Blues are near the 22.
Bulls kick the ball into touch, 10m inside halfway for a lineout.
After some kicking back and forth, Blues end up in possession just outside their own 22.
The Blues concede a penalty through Pauliasi Manu for incorrect binding. Bulls were under pressure and this will provide them with an escape.
Blues kick the penalty into touch and have a 5m lineout now. They take it short and drive.
Good attack from the Blues as they keep it tight in the centre and attack on the wings. Gibson runs through the right touchline but the Blues knock the ball on and we will come back for the penalty.
CONVERSION, BULLS, POLLARD! 7-7: Pollard kicks the conversion in to add on the extras and the score is 7-7.
TRY, BULLS, GQOBOKA! 7-5: Lizo Gqoboka has grounded it and the Bulls score their first try of this game. Pollard's long kick set up the chance. The lineout did not amount to much but the Bulls managed to find a try.
The Blues concede a penalty through Pauliasi Manu for collapsing the scrum.
The Bulls concede a penalty through Jan Serfontein for being caught offside.
Bulls have a lineout and it is a messy one but they manage to retain possession.
The Blues concede a penalty through Jimmy Tupou for not rolling away from the ruck.
The scrum collapses and the Blues will have the free kick, opting for another scrum.
A knock on from Moala and both teams have made a few basic errors at the start.
Both teams are wearing blue tonight so it is difficult to differentiate between them.
Faumuina kicks the ball into touch and Bulls have a lineout just inside the Blues territory.
Pollard loses control of the ball as Bulls make another basic error. Scrum to the Blues.
Tupou spills the kickoff and the Bulls have possession inside the 22.
CONVERSION, BLUES, FRANCIS! 7-0: It is a tricky conversion but Francis does well to add on the extras and Blues lead by 7 points.
TRY, BLUES, PULU! 5-0: From the lineout the Blues attack and Nanai breaks through the line for them as Augustine Pulu takes it over the line. First try of the game.
Bulls set up a maul but are immediately caught offside and Steenkamp is penalised for obstruction.
A poor kick from Francis as he finds touch 30 metres from his own try line.
Kick-off! First half begins. Francis kicks us off!
Francis with a deep kickoff and the Bulls look to run from their 22.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the SuperRugby clash between Blues an Bulls from the QBE Stadium.
Nic Berry is the referee today with William Houston and Nick Briant assisting him. Ben Skeen is the TMO.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Nick de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Lizo Gqoboko.
Blues: 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/Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
These two teams have competed evenly since 2009 with Blues and Bulls each winning three games.
Captain Adriaan Strauss comes back for the Bulls and his return is vital for the visitors. The visitors boast a strong spine while Piet van Zyl and Handré Pollard will pull the strings at half-back with Serfontein and Kriel outside. Pollard, of course, needs to win his battle with Piers Francis for them to get the victory.
A relatively quiet game last week as George Moala took the headlines instead, but expect a strong showing from Rieko Ioane this Saturday. The young centre?s battle with Jesse Kriel will be an interesting one and the South African will have to be at his best defensively to stop the quality of Ioane causing havoc. Also keep an eye on the dangerous Augustine Pulu, who has been superb this term.
Bulls have won just 1 of their 10 games in New Zealand, with their last success coming in round 4 of 2013, at the Blues.
Blues have lost their last three matches, so they are not in the best form either.
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