Get Newsletter

Bulls show Leinster who is boss in epic URC semifinal

MATCH REPORT: The Bulls advanced to their second United Rugby Championship Final with a 25-20 victory over Irish giants Leinster in Pretoria on Saturday.


The home side produced an outstanding team effort to outscore Leinster by three tries to two in the match with wing Sergeal Petersen scoring a brace.

An excellent kicking game that was spearheaded by Wille le Roux and Johan Goosen was one of the foundations for the victory in front of 31,578 fans.

No.8 Cameron Hanekom also produced a man-of-the-match performance with several powerful carries.

There will be some concern over Le Roux after he failed a head injury assessment in the second half.

In the game’s opening minutes, the Bulls tested Leinster’s defence out wide with several cross-kicks with varying degrees of success, but the visitors scrambled well when it mattered.


Flyhalf Goosen even had a drop goal attempt from near halfway in the 12th minute, which could be seen as a tactic to keep Leinster pinned in their own half.

The Bulls thought they opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a Devon Williams try. However, the TMO spotted Marco van Staden taking out Ross Byrne off the ball in the build-up to that score.

Byrne had an opportunity to put his team in front in the 21st minute with a long-range penalty, but he pulled his kick wide.

The home side was reduced to 14 men in the 23rd minute after Petersen received a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on and not long after that James Lowe scored the opening try for the visitors.


Byrne made it a seven-point lead with a difficult conversion.

However, the Bulls hit back with a try of their own in the 30th minute and it all stemmed from a great 50-22 kick from Le Roux.

From the line-out, the ball was put through the phases before Goosen was put into a gap to score the five-pointer.

He converted his own try to level the scores.

After sustained pressure inside Leinster’s half, the Bulls were awarded a penalty and Goosen converted it into three points to give his side a 10-7 lead at the break.

It was a sensational start in the second half with Petersen chasing down the ball after a Harold Vorster grubber kick to score the Bulls’ second try of the game.

Goosen added the extra two points and the Bulls had a 10-point lead after 43 minutes.

After a series of penalties inside the Bulls’ 22, Leinster hit back when Caelan Doris crashed over the tryline from close range in the 51st minute.

Byrne converted the score to make it a three-point ball game again.

The scores were level at 17-17 with the clock approaching the final quarter after a Byrne penalty before Goosen put the Bulls back in front in the 62nd minute with a penalty of his own.

It was 20-20 in the 65th minute with Byrne recording a second successful penalty.

However, the Bulls took a huge step to victory minutes later when Petersen showed great skill to snatch the ball out of the air and race away to score a try.

Goosen missed his first kick to poles after that.

The home side then produced a monumental defensive effort in the final few minutes to keep Leinster out and secure another famous victory.

They will face Munster or Glasgow Warriors in next weekend’s Final.

If Glasgow can record a win in Limerick then the Final will be played in Pretoria.

Man of the match: Willie le Roux’s kicking game was outstanding and he put Leinster under plenty of pressure. Wing Sergeal Petersen showed off his finishing skills with two tries. However, the award goes to Bulls No.8 Cameron Hanekom. He terrorised Leinster with some big carries and he made some serious metres when it mattered,

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: Goosen, Petersen 2
Cons: Goosen 2
Pens: Goosen 2

For Leinster:
Tries: Lowe, Doris
Cons: Byrne 2
Pens: Byrne 2

Yellow card: Sergeal Petersen (Bulls, 23′ – cynical play, deliberate knock-on)


Bulls: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 David Kriel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Devon Williams, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Cameron Hanekom, 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Reinhardt Ludwig, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Cornel Smit.

Leinster: 15 Jimmy O’Brien, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Ryan Baird, 5 James Ryan (captain), 4 Joe McCarthy, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Rónan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ciarán Frawley, 23 Jamie Osborne.

Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland) and Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)


In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

Join free

England vs France | World Rugby U20 Championship Final | Full Match Replay

Scotland vs USA | U20 Trophy Final | Full Match Replay

Boks Office | Episode 15 | Extreme Golf Special

Embedded 2024 | England | Episode 4

Before They Make It | South Africa

Before They Make It | England

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 22

Women's Six Nations winner to Paris Olympic sevens for Team GB | Ellie Kildunne | Stronger Than You Think | S3 Ep 2

Write A Comment