Bulls power past Pumas
The Bulls are level on points with the second-placed Sharks on 20 and four behind the table-topping Cheetahs, who have yet to lose a game this season.
The Bulls outscored the hapless home team by six tries to one, as their forwards dominated all aspects of the exchanges up front.
They were particularly brutal in the scrums, which won the Bulls a penalty try.
This was typical Bulls.
The Bulls’ coaching staff will know that this was not the perfect performance and would have expected more from their backline who did not quite click.
When they did manage to get the ball out wide, especially out left where Jamba Ulengo had a great game, scoring two tries, they looked good. This was few and far between.
It has always been a criticism of the Bulls and they will need to rectify the disjointed manner in which their backline operates if they have serious title ambitions.
Their pack was immense, their set piece rock solid and their ability to score points when in the red zone is the envy of many teams in the competition.
With two winnable fixtures against Griquas and Boland coming up followed by a bye before the play-offs, the Bulls could yet creep under the radar and take the cup next month.
But if that is going to happen, a few kinks need to be ironed out.
For the Pumas:
Pens: Brummer 3
For the Blue Bulls:
Tries:Beyers, Ismaiel, De Jager, Liebenberg, Ulengo 2
Cons: Schoeman 3, Stander
Yellow card: Leighton van Wyk (Pumas, 34 – repeated infringements, slapping the ball out of scrumhalf's hand)
Pumas: 15 Williams Devon, 14 Bernardo Botha, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 Jean-Paul Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Emile Temperman, 8 Renaldo Bothma (captain), 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Wiehan Hay, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Frank Herne, 1 De Jay Terblanche.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Leighton Van Wyk, 22 Ruwellyn Isbell.
Blue Bulls: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Irné Herbst, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Joshua Stander, 22 Divan Rossouw.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Marnus Meiring
TMO: Willie Vos