Pretoria - The Blue Bulls narrowly beat the Steval Pumas 20-18 (7-9 half-time) at Loftus Versveld in their Vodacom Cup North Section match on Saturday.
The Blue Bulls opened their account when BlitzBok Jamba Ulengo crossed the tryline in the fourth minute. His effort was the result of a Pumas chip kick collected by Blue Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant who passed it to the winger.
Ulengo evaded three tackles and sprinted 50m to score. Flyhalf Kobus Marais added the extras.
The match then seemed to dissipate into a series of unforced errors with neither team managing to assert any dominance. Pumas flyhalf Justin van Staden nailed the Blue Bulls for their ill discipline with three penalty goals before Pumas hooker Jacques Momberg was yellow carded for a high tackle. The teams went into the break with the Pumas leading 7-9.
Warrick Gelant setup a try for Marquit September with a perfect offload after Marais kicked a penalty early in the second half. September pinned back his ears to slice through the Pumas defence with Marais kicking the conversion to give the home side a 17-12 lead after 51 minutes.
The Blue Bulls kept the Pumas at bay with the visitors never threatening to cross the Blue Bulls tryline. The match remained loose in the second half but the Blue Bulls used their opportunities better putting the Pumas under pressure.
Van Staden kicked two penalties to give the Pumas a 1 point lead with five minutes to spare but a late penalty kick by Marais secured a 20-18 victory for the Blue Bulls.
Blue Bulls: 20 - Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Marquit September; Conversions: Kobus Marais (2); Penalties: Marais (2)
Pumas: 18 - Penalties: Justin van Staden (6).