Bulls XV too strong for Lions XV
CRAVEN WEEK REPORT: The Blue Bulls XV dominated important periods of the match to score five tries on their way to a 32-21 victory over the Golden Lions XV on Day 2 of Craven Week in Bloemfontein.
The Blue Bulls XV raced to an early 15-0 lead before the Golden Lions XV made their way back into the game and found themselves within a point of their opponents at one stage. However, the Blue Bulls XV finished stronger to secure the win.
The opening 15 minutes belonged to the Blue Bulls XV as they took the game to their opponents. Flyhalf Justin Cross opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a successful penalty before bring involved in the build-up to his side’s opening try. A clever cross-kick by the flyhalf was pounced on by the diminutive Kenan Damons, who found Ruan Oosthuizen and the centre went over. Cross’ conversion ensuring a 10-0 lead.
The Blue Bulls XV were on the board a few minutes later when they turned the ball over on the halfway line. Damons was once again involved as he put Shandon Botha into a gap. The wing chipped ahead and raced after his ball to dot down in the corner as the Blue Bulls XV’s lead stretched to 15-0.
The Golden Lions XV got themselves into the game in the 23rd minute when scrumhalf Marquin Uren broke around the fringes to get his side on the front foot. A few phases later and Uren sniped once more to dot down against the uprights. Sebastine Watney popped over the regulation conversion to reduce the deficit to 7-15.
The Golden Lions got themselves within a point on the stroke of halftime when Watney got the ball at second receiver and sprinted through the defence to dot down. He the conversion to his side trail 14-15. However, the half continued beyond the half-time hooter and poor decision-making by the Lions players, who failed to kick the ball into touch, saw them concede a third try.
Cross spotted no cover defence, chipped ahead and then chased down the kick to score. He converted to ensure the Blue Bulls XV led 22-14 at the break.
The Golden Lions XV got themselves back to within a point in the 43rd minute when a break from Kayle Schultz led to Melbirt van der Spuy scoring. Watney was once again accurate off the kicking tee to see his side trail 21-22.
Damons was once again in the thick of things as the diminutive fullback showed his impressive stepping ability inside the Golden Lions XV’s 22 before unselfishly offloading to Chad-Lee Valentine to score and extend their lead to 27-21.
The result was put to bed in the 67th minute when Reinhardt Ludwig bashed his way over the line from close range, after an impressive break by captain Lohan Potgieter, to ensure the Bulls’ lead stretched to 32-21.
For Blue Bulls XV:
Tries: Oosthuizen, Botha, Cross, Valentine, Ludwig
Cons: Cross 2
For Golden Lions XV:
Tries: Uren, Watney, Van der Spuy
Cons: Watney 3
Blue Bulls XV: 1 Isaac Khelo, 2 Manie Potgieter, 3 Reinhardt Nel, 4 Jaryd Scheepers, 5 Reinhardt Ludwig, 6 Jacobs Rashelo, 7 Lohan Potgieter (captain), 8 Fleidl Armand, 9 Jovander Zeeland, 10 Justin Cross, 11 Mashudu Muleya, 12 Ruan Oosthuizen, 13 Theuns Pretorius, 14 Shandon Botha, 15 Kenan Damons, 16 Tiaan Lange, 17 Omphile Makhafola, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Onka Segooa, 20 Tino Kuwana, 21 Chad-Lee Valentine, 22 Carlton Banies, 23 E Wesso.
Golden Lions XV: 1 Dehan Niemand, 2 Franco Prinsloo, 3 Heiko Pohlman, 4 Bobalo Makana, 5 Alexander Groves, 6 Rynard Mouton, 7 Ocean Tsimbalanga, 8 Kayle Schultz, 9 Marquin Uren, 10 Sebastine Watney, 11 Setshaba Mokoena, 12 Frans Weideman (captain), 13 Melbirt van der Spuy, 14 Maurice Marks, 15 Eulon Redcliffe, 16 Sabastian Motsage, 17 Prince Mulea, 18 John Kelly Okonkwo, 19 J Ruthel, 20 M Jonker, 21 Gerath Louw, 22 Sifiso Dlamini, 23 Herschelle Goodman.
Referee: Aaron Parry (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)r, Dirkie Laas
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)