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Bulls thump Lyon to advance to Champions Cup quarterfinals

CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: The Bulls secured their place in the last eight of this season’s Champions Cup after they thumped Lyon 59-19 in Pretoria on Saturday.


Jake White’s side outscored their opponents by nine tries to three during the 80 minutes. Scrumhalf Embrose Papier and wing Sebastian de Klerk both got a brace on the day.

The Bulls will face either Northampton Saints or Munster in the quarterfinals. The English club and Irish province will face each other on Sunday.

The home side suffered a blow before kick-off when Ruan Nortje was ruled out of the match due to an injury. However, it didn’t trouble the Bulls on the field.

After a scrappy start to the game by both teams, the Bulls opened the scoring in the 13th minute with De Klerk going over for a try after a great pass by Willie le Roux. Johan Goosen added the extra two points with the conversion.

The Bulls scored their second try in the 21st minute after Kurt-Lee Arendse picked up a loose ball from a line-out before passing on his inside to Papier who had an easy run to the tryline. Goosen made it a 14-point lead with the conversion.


The third try was secured in the 28th minute after Canan Moodie showed his speed by bursting through the midfield before giving the ball to Marcell Coetzee, who bulldozed his way over the tryline. Goosen made no mistake with the conversion once again.

Lyon then got their first points in a bizarre way when scrumhalf Martin Page-Relo took a quick tap from a penalty and scored a try while the Bulls were not paying attention. Paddy Jackson added the extra two points with the conversion.

However, there was some more misery for Lyon a few minutes later when Ruan Vermaak bashed his way over the tryline for the Bulls’ fourth try of the game and the conversion was successful as well.


Lyon started the second half well and they got a penalty try in the 47th minute after Moodie’s high tackle prevented Page-Relo from getting a second try in the match. Moodie was also sent to the sinbin for his tackle.

It didn’t take long for the Bulls to hit back again as David Kriel found some space in the Lyon defence before feeding the ball to Le Roux who dived over in the corner for a try.

The Bulls then provided an excellent example of support play as they ran the ball from their own half to go on and score a try in the 54th minute. It was Papier’s second of the match.

It was then Lyon’s turn to hit back and they did with a try by former Sharks flyer Thaakir Abrahams.

However, the Bulls rubbed more salt in Lyon’s wounds with Kriel scoring an intercept try in the 68th minute before Chris Smith scored his team’s eighth try in the 72nd minute. The replacement flyhalf converted both scores.

Arendse then produced some more magic with ball in hand in the build-up to his team’s final try, which was scored by De Klerk again.

Man of the match: Scrumhalf Embrose Papier was a livewire once again and he scored two tries in the match. However, the award goes to Springbok wing Kurt-Lee Arendse, who was a constant threat out wide and he played an important role in a couple of his team’s tries.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: De Klerk 2, Papier 2, Coetzee, Vermaak, Le Roux, Kriel, Smith
Cons: Goosen 5, Smith 2

For Lyon:
Tries: Page-Relo, Penalty Try, Abrahams
Con: Jackson

Yellow card: Canan Moodie (Bulls, 47′ – foul play, high tackle)


Bulls: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sebastian de Klerk, 13 Canan Moodie, 12 David Kriel, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Reinhardt Ludwig, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 JF van Heerden, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Izak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Devon Williams.

Lyon: 15 Thaakir Abrahams, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Alfred Parisien, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Martin Page-Relo, 8 Jordan Taufua (captain), 7 Beka Saginadze, 6 Marvin Okuya, 5 Loann Goujon, 4 Theo William, 3 Paulo Tafili, 2 Guillaume Marchand, 1 Vivien Devisme.
Replacements: 16 Yanis Charcosset, 17 Demba Bamba, 18 Mickael Guillard, 19 Ave Maalo, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Maxime Gouzou, 22 Ethan Dumortier, 23 Liam Rimet.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Sara Cox (England), Adam Leal (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

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