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Bulls secure bonus-point as they down Lions

MATCH REPORT: The Bulls’ visit across the Jukskei-river saw them secure a bonus-point 25-10 victory over the Lions at Ellis Park in Round 10 of the United Rugby Championship.

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After Sanele Nohamba got the Lions on the scoreboard early through a successful penalty kick, he missed his second attempt.

The first try of the game came thanks to Springbok Canan Moodie after 20 minutes of play to put the Bulls in the lead. It was a strong scrum by Gerhard Steenekamp against the much heavier Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Embrose Papier saw the gap and Moodie rounded it off.

The Bulls threw everything at the Lions, asking a lot of questions, but the hosts stood firm, not allowing the visitors to gain much ascendancy.

Only leading by 5-3 at half-time, the Bulls were in control for much of the first half, but due to a plethora of errors they didn’t have anything to show for it except the single try by Moodie.

The Bulls lost Elrigh Louw early in the game due to a shoulder injury which introduced Mpilo Gumede to the game.

The Lions had an opportunity to regain the lead in the 45th minute but Nohamba’s penalty goal hit the uprights.

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At this time Johan Goosen entered the fray after it looked like Jaco van der Walt could not get the backline firing.

A scrum to the Lions in the Bulls’ 22 set up an attacking opportunity for the home side and it almost worked like a charm, but upon review by the TMO it was clear the pass from Nohamba was forward and Richard Kriel’s try was disallowed.

Akker van der Merwe hardly found his feet after he replaced Johan Grobbelaar or the maul specialist drove his way over the try line with his pack in tow.

That try took him to second on the URC list of most tries with eight.

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With ten minutes left on the clock, Marcell Coetzee scored the Bulls’ third try. The visitors’ replacements thoroughly brought some much-needed energy and helped the Bulls get over the advantage line.

The Bulls were now chasing a bonus point try while the Lions looked to end their first game of many not within the seven-point margin.

But the Lions never gave up and finally got their first try after Quan Horn gave a chip, Devon Williams got to the ball in the in-goal area but could not dot down, and the quick Horn pounced to score the try.

And then a bit of magic secured the Bulls’ fourth try as David Kriel gave a chip and chase and managed to chase down JC Pretorius and stretched over him to dive over and get the ball down on the ground, taking the Bulls’ lead to 25-10, which was also the final score.

The Bulls were steady but not brilliant, although they did enough to keep the Lions away from the try-line for most of the game.

The Lions played into the hands of the visitors while their normally poisonous backline were quiet and without the sting they normally possess.

Man of the Match: It went to Embrose Papier, the assassin around the fringes. He made quick decisions behind the scrums to set up his backline, one of them resulting in Canan Moodie’s try.

Scorers:

For Lions:
Try: Horn
Con: Hendrikse
Pens: Nohamba

For Bulls:
Tries: Moodie, Van der Merwe, Coetzee, Kriel
Cons: Goosen
Pens: Goosen

Yellow card: Canan Moodie (Bulls – 80’ cynical play)

Teams:

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Richard Kriel, 13 Henco van Wyk 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Sanele Nohamba, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Hanru Sirgel, 5 Reinhardt Nothnagel, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Izan Esterhuizen, 21 JC Pretorius, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Erich Cronje.

Bulls: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 David Kriel, 11 Canan Moodie, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Cameron Hanekom, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Reinhardt Ludwig, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16. Simphiwe Matanzima, 17. Akker van der Merwe, 18. Francois Kloppers, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. Marcell Coetzee, 21. Keagan Johannes, 22. Johan Goosen, 23. Mpilo Gumede.

Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby (South Africa), Dylan November (South Africa)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

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