Bulls get bonus-point win at Newlands
CURRIE CUP MATCH REPORT: The Bulls overcame a sluggish start to overpower Western Province and move to the top of the standings – at least for the next 24 hours.
Despite conceding an early try and trailing 7-10 inside the first 10 minutes, the visitors from Pretoria settled down to score an impressive 34-13 bonus-point win on a cold and damp Friday night.
Having held a narrow (17-13) lead at the half-time break, the Bulls dominated in the second half to add two more tries to the two they got before the break to race clear.
Behind a dominant pack, Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen had a field day – constantly getting his team on the front foot and causing the hosts all kinds of headaches.
It did not help the WP cause that they lost veteran hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni late in the first half to a red card – the result of a dangerous tackle, when his shoulder made contact with the head and neck area of an opponent.
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It wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors though, as the Capetonians doggedly hung on and refused to hand the momentum to the Bulls after losing their hooker to a red card.
Despite being on the backfoot after that, WP refused to be pushed off the saddle by the visitors from Pretoria and the Bulls had to work very hard for the win, only recording their fourth try towards the end of the match.
The men from Pretoria’s defence was solid though as they conceded only one try – in the first minute – while scoring four.
The hosts were on the board after only 45 seconds, when scrumhalf Paul de Wet crossed the whitewash after a great run by flank Johan du Toit, but the scores were tied three minutes later with a converted Richard Kriel try after a clever line-out move and perfect skip pass by Johan Goosen.
Minutes later Tim Swiel added a penalty goal to his successful conversion earlier to put the Capetonians back in the lead, but it was short-lived once again when Johan Grobbelaar went over for the Bulls’ second try after capitalizing on a poor line-out throw by Ntubeni near his own line.
It was just reward for a great performance by the Bulls’ livewire hooker.
Goosen, another to deliver a great performance, made it three from three with his first penalty goal in the 25th minute to stretch the visitors’ lead to 17-10, but Swiel cut it back to four points two minutes later with his second three-pointer.
However, the biggest moment in the first half came in the 35th minute when Ntubeni was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Zak Burger.
Despite playing the entire second half with one player less, the men from the Western Cape refused to give up and made their opponents work hard for their tries.
Burger crossed for their third try in the 50th minute, Goosen added another penalty goal to keep the score-board pressure up, and Cornal Hendricks delivered the bonus point try with 10 minutes left in the match.
Man of the match: It was the Bulls pack that laid the foundation – with players like Elrigh Louw, Muller Uys, Marcell Coetzee, Ruan Nortje and most of all Johan Grobbelaar in fine form. This allowed flyhalf Johan Goosen to put his stamp on the game with tactical precision – winning our award.
For Western Province
Try: De Wet
Pens: Swiel 2
For the Bulls
Tries: R Kriel, Grobbelaar, Burger, Hendricks
Cons: Goosen 3, Smith
Pens: Goosen 2
Red card: Siyabonga Ntubeni (Western Province, 36 – foul play, shoulder to head tackle)
Western Province: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Juan de Jongh (Captain), 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 John Schickerling, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Neethling Fouché, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements – from: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Deon Fourie, 20 Simon Miller, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Chris Schreuder 23 Rikus Pretorius, 24 Warrick Gelant, 25 Marcel Theunissen.
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Richard Kriel, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Muller Uys, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Sibongile Novuka.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Local appointments
TMO: Rasta Rasivhenge