Lyon outplay Bulls in the snow
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: The Bulls will have to wait a little longer to see if they qualify for the Round of 16 in the Champions Cup after they suffered a 7-31 defeat to Lyon at Matmut Stadium de Gerland.
The team from Pretoria headed in Friday’s match just needing a bonus point to qualify for the knockouts, but they came nowhere near that goal against a determined Lyon side in the snow.
Instead, it was Lyon who got the bonus point for scoring four tries in the win, which keeps their play-off hopes alive.
The Bulls, who were totally outplayed, got their solitary try via Kurt-Lee Arendse.
The Bulls and Lyon have to wait for Saturday’s results in Pool A to see if they qualify for the next round.
Lyon set the tone early, with hooker Guillaume Marchand going over on four minutes following a well-worked line-out maul.
Flyhalf Leo Berdeu kicked the conversion and followed that up with a penalty minutes later to give the home side a ten-point lead within ten minutes. The 24-year-old was perfect from the tee on the night and kicked conversions for all four Lyon tries.
Over the next 20 minutes it was predominantly the Bulls applying the pressure, but they were unable to avail themselves of their entries to Lyon’s 22.
While the French club’s defence was solid and disciplined at the breakdown, the visiting side’s penchant for errors was their undoing, as it was all game.
On 36 minutes, it was Lyon’s turn to return to their opponent’s territory, moving up the field with a fast break. Their pressure culminated in a brilliant try from Jean-Marc Doussain, the scrumhalf going over after driving through a Bulls defender in a brilliant piece of individual determination.
Lyon smelt blood just before the break and tightened the screw on the Bulls once more. With Simphiwe Matanzima in the sin bin, the victim of a number of Bulls infringements, Marchand went over with for his second, Lyon’s pack once again dominating their South African counterparts.
Lyon were on top for the first moments of the second period, but when fullback Arendse intercepted a long pass, he went from one end of the pitch to the other to score the Bulls’ first points of the game.
Johan Goosen kicked the conversion, but that proved the South African outfit’s last points as they failed to build on their score, Lyon weathering an initial storm of pressure in the wake of Arendse’s try to come out on top.
The final points of the game came on 57 minutes when Lyon earned their crucial fourth try, Leo Berdeu spotting a gap in the defensive line, powering through it and getting over to give his team the bonus point.
Man of the match: Leo Berdeu was fantastic at flyhalf and he scored an impressive try. Hooker Guillaume Marchand was in the thick of things from the start and he scored two of his team’s four tries. However, the award goes to scrumhalf Jean-Marc Doussain, who was at the heart of Lyon’s excellent display. He kept the Bulls on their toes with some quick thing around the rucks and he showed great strength to push his way over the whitewash for a try.
Tries: Marchand 2, Doussain, Berdeu
Cons: Berdeu 4
Yellow card: Simphiwe Matanzima (Bulls, 40′ – repeated infringements)
Lyon: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Josiah Maraku, 12 Thibaut Regard, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Leo Berdeu, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Jordan Taufua (captain), 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guillaume Marchand, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Hamza Kaabèche, 18 Paulo Tafili, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Theo William, 21 Mickael Guillard, 22 Liam Rimet, 23 Kyle Godwin.
Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 David Kriel, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Nizaam Carr (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16 Johann Grobbelaar, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Lionel Mapoe.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson (England) & Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)
Additional source: @ChampionsCup