Bulls beat Cardiff for first URC win
REPORT: South African franchise the Bulls finally got their first United Rugby Championship victory, beating Cardiff Blues 29-19 on Saturday.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
Jake White’s men scored two tries courtesy of number eight Elrigh Louw and wing Madosh Tambwe, while replacement flyhalf Chris Smith kicked 19 points.
Matthew Screech crossed for Cardiff’s only try of the game, with Rhys Priestland contributing 14 points from the kicking tee.
The game was soured when Wales international Josh Navidi left the field after a mere eight minutes with what looked like a nasty arm injury.
Navidi attempted to tackle giant Bulls loose forward Jacques Du Plessis but got his arm caught in the wrong place and was forced off the field in significant pain in front of onlooking Wales coach Wayne Pivac.
Cardiff started strongly and should have touched down only for Navidi to butcher a two-on-one which would have given Owen Lane a clear walk in. They did, however, claim the game’s first points through Priestland’s boot.
The hosts were then temporarily reduced to 14 men when Seb Davies was sent to the sin bin for a no-arms clear-out into the side of Bulls fullback David Kriel.
But it did not deter Dai Young’s side, who doubled their lead through Priestland’s boot before second-row Screech powered his way over from short range.
Smith finally opened the Bulls’ account with a successful penalty from 35 metres, meaning Cardiff turned around with a comfortable 16-3 lead at the interval.
The visitors then started the second half strongly with a try after just three minutes.
Powerful carries from former South African internationals Bismarck Du Plessis and Marcell Coetzee put the Bulls inches from the Cardiff line.
Cardiff were penalised for not rolling away, but instead of opting for a relatively easy three-point opportunity, number eight Louw took it quickly to score from close range.
The Bulls then took the lead for the first time in the game when a loose pass from Hallam Amos was hacked ahead by Tambwe.
The flying wing showed outrageous pace to beat Priestland for speed and touched down for a try which Smith converted before stretching the advantage to 10 points with a pair of penalties.
Priestland was successful with a penalty to give Cardiff some hope, but the Bulls finished strongly, with Smith securing their victory with another three points.
Player of the match
Kurt-Lee Arendse gave his side tremendous go-forward to earn the Player of the Match prize. He ended the game with three clean breaks, five defenders beaten and 83 metres made.
Play of the match
Tambwe showed stunning reactions and speed to capitalise on Amos loose pass and leave the Cardiff backs in his wake as he raced for the line.
For Cardiff Blues
Pens: Priestland 4
Tries: Louw, Tabwe
Cons: Smith 2
Pens: Smith 5
Cardiff: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Kirby Myhill (captain), 1 Rhys Carré.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Matthew Morgan.
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Janko Steenkamp, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels), 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Walt Steenkamp), 20 Arno Botha, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Lionel Mapoe.
Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland, 11th league game)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), John Darcy (Wales)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)