EP trample sloppy Blue Bulls
Eastern Province's performance against the once mighty Blue Bulls could have just propelled them into the main match status.
Great work by scrumhalf Chad Adams and captain Bevan Rudi Prinsloo ensured EP's first win, after a close 22-27 defeat against the South Western District.
While the Blue Bulls suffered their second consecutive defeat.
It seems that the lessons of the Sharks 33-53 defeat taught the side from Pretoria nothing. Again, they conceded easy tries which saw them trail 0-17 at the break.
After just 10 minutes of play, the Bulls already conceded two tries.
In the opening minutes, EP lost the ball from the line-out but a great counter ruck returned possession which saw Adams give a pop pass to Prinsloo. The big flank powered his way through two defenders for the try, 5-0.
Minutes later Adams again set up EP's second try. The scrumhalf linked up with flyhalf Rodwell Baatjies before the pass found Juandré Sabbat, who dived over for the try, 10-0.
Cracks were visible in the Blue Bulls side as they struggled to handle EP's onslaught. And soon Prinsloo almost bagged his second but he got denied after he was tackled into touch.
EP did not give the Bulls any chance to catch their breath. This time Ayabonga Matroos pounced on a loose ball for the points. The try was really the Blue Bulls' own fault, their reckless passes behind their own try-line made it easy for the centre.
Dylan Le Roux added the extras to take a 17-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
For the next 15 minutes of the first half, EP dominated and could have added to their score, however, Prinsloo's pass was lost forward by Uan Tait which halted try number four, for now.
For the first time, the Blue Bulls started to make metres and soon found themselves on the EP 's 22, however great work Viaan Wolmarans at the breakdown shifted possession and the try scoring opportunity disappeared.
EP won a penalty in the dying minutes of the first half but opted to kick to touch and end the first half.
The Blue Bulls started the second half just as sloppy as they ended the first. Failing to commit any guys at the breakdown, EP won possession inside the Blue Bulls' five. This time Chad Adams opted to feed to forwards and after a series of pick-up-and-goes prop Le-Kleu Stokes bulldozed over for the try, 22-0.
EP went in the surge of a try again. Chad Adams picked up the ball from the scrum and side stepped his way around two defenders before captain Bevan Prinsloo dotted down for a brace of tries.
For the Blue Bulls, it was that sort of game, they were uninterested, confused in defence and never really gained momentum to produce a striking attack.
Soon they found themselves on the backfoot inside their own five again and EP just punished them. The forwards set up a great foundation for Rodwell Baatjies to dive over to score, 34-0.
After the hour mark, and after Le Roux's successful penalty, the Blue Bulls almost broke the duck. Unfortunately for them the ball was knocked on in the tackle and still found themselves 0-37 down.
Even with 14-man – after Dumisa Ngcivana received a yellow card for a neck role – EP were just more structured and fully deserved the victory.
For Blue Bulls: None
For Eastern Province:
Tries: Bevan Rudi Prinsloo, Juandré Sabbat, Ayabonga Matroos, Le-Kleu Stokes, Rodwell Baatjies
Cons: Dylan Le Roux 2
Pen: Dylan Le Roux
Yellow Card: Dumisa Ngcivana (Eastern Province, 58 – neck role)
Blue Bulls: 15 Diego Appollis (Garsfontein), 14 Mpho Kubeka (Pretoria Boys' High), 13 Marnus Potgieter (Affies), 12 Zan Briel (Affies), 11 Turique Ferris (De Wilgers), 10 Ulrich Maritz (Waterkloof), 9 Giovanne Snyman (Waterkloof), 8 Phillip Potgieter (Affies), 7 Jaco Labuschagne (Affies), 6 Kahanda Jada (Pretoria Boys' High), 5 Ruben Kotze (Waterkloof), 4 Orateng Koikanyang (St Alban's), 3 Gerrit Visser (Waterkloof), 2 Ruben Veldsman (Waterkloof), 1 Warren Nkobane (Cornwall Hill), 16 Johan van Zyl (Affies), 17 Robert Moekoena (Curro Hazeldean), 18 James Combrink (Affies), 19 Kgala Mothomogolo (Pretoria Boys' High), 20 Gustav de Jager (Waterkloof) , 21 Keagen Johannes (Garsfontein), 22 Regardt Roets (Affies), 23 Ndu Nkosi (Southdowns), 24 Janko Uys.
Eastern Province: 15 Dylan le Roux (Daniël Pienaar), 14 Dean Jordan (Die Brandwag), 13 Ayabonga Matroos (Grey High), 12 Waqar Solaan (Grey High), 11 Juandré Sabbat (Die Brandwag), 10 Rodwell Baatjies (Pearson High), 9 Sachin Toring (Daniël Pienaar), 8 Elandré Smit (Die Brandwag), 7 Hendrik du Toit (Nico Malan), 6 Bevan Rudi Prinsloo (Grey High), 5 Zane Barnard (Die Brandwag), 4 Lacken Gray (Grey High), 3 Le-Kleu Stokes (Die Brandwag), 2 Ruan Jonker (Grey High), 1 Elmar Eldon (Die Brandwag), 16 Viaan Wolmarans (Framesby), 17 John Douglas Allison (Grey High), 18 Janu Fourie (Nico Malan), 19 Dumisa Ngcivana (Grey High), 20 Desmick Kleinbooi (Framesby), 21 Chad Adams (Die Brandwag), 22 Uan Tait (Grey High), 23 Kholiwe Konza (Grey High).
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant referees: Mpho Matsaung, Stephan Geldenhuys
Assessor: Pierre Oelofse