Bulls massacre P Divvy's Elephants
MATCH REPORT: The Bulls ran in 12 tries to beat the Eastern Province Elephants 87-10 at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday.
The home side, who held a 38-3 lead at the break, with the visitors from the Eastern Cape falling short in execution and fitness in their first competitive match in over a year.
The first points of the match belonged to the visitors as Inny Radebe (flyhalf) kicked a penalty goal two minutes in to give his team the best start possible.
The Bulls responded immediately with a well-taken try from an attacking line-out, which saw hooker Joe van Zyl dotting down.
Unfortunately for the EP side, their own line-outs misfired badly, and they lost no less than six in a row on their own throw.
The Bulls had no such problems and their captain on the day, Nizaam Carr, was the beneficiary of another strong attacking maul from a line-out. Flyhalf Chris Smith converted both tries and kicked a penalty goal before a golden 10-minute spell by the home side knocked the stuffing out of the Elephants.
The Bulls’ third try, after 30 minutes, came courtesy of some brilliant attacking rugby with almost half their team handling the ball in a move that saw backs and forwards combine with off-loads, popped-up passes and angled running.
Marco Jansen van Vuren, who started at inside centre, finished the move that broke EP’s early resilience, and the home team scored two more tries before half-time to confirm their expected dominance.
First, David Kriel kicked ahead and found the EP cover defence tired and absent, so the fullback could take his time in dotting down, while Carr scored his second after another flowing move from deep within their own half. Smith kicked another conversion for a 35-point lead at the break.
The second half saw a steady flow of tries from the home side. Stravino Jacobs (wing) opened the flood gates five minutes after the break with a solid effort in the corner, having been worked into space by some good inside runners.
He was followed over the tryline by Tim Agaba, who was on hand when scrumhalf Embrose Papier took a quick tap penalty near the line.
What followed was some relentless attacking rugby by the best side in the country as Jacobs got his second following a good break by Kriel. The gaps in defence were as big as the gulps of air sucked by the EP side at altitude and this was exploited by the home side who used the width of the field to attack.
A rash of replacements by the home side resulted in even more fresh legs and once they found each other, the flood gates opened again.
Marnus Potgieter finished off a move started inside their own 22m line and Smith converted his ninth try before being replaced on the hour mark.
Sithembiso Befile scored for the Elephants in a rare spell of sustained attack and keeping possession by the EP side, with the replacement hooker crashing over from short range.
The respite was short-lived though and when Keagan Johannes pinched the ball from behind the EP scrum, the replacement scrumhalf scored his side’s tenth try.
He also scored the 11th of the afternoon after Carr had another inspired burst down the middle of the field, before replacement flyhalf, Jandre Burger, scored and converted his own try for the final points of the match.
Man of the match: Bulls No.8 WJ Steenkamp was a monster with ball in hand. He was a hard man to bring down and he showed some skills out wide as well.
Tries: Van Zyl, Carr 2, Jansen van Vuren, Kriel, Jacobs 2, Agaba, Potgieter, Johannes 2, Burger
Cons: Smith 9, Burger 3
For Eastern Province:
Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 WJ Steenkamp, 7 Tim Agaba, 6 Nizaam Carr (captain), 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Jan Uys, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Joe van Zyl, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Janco Uys, 17 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 18 Gerhard van der Merwe, 19 Raynard Roets, 20 Uzile Tele, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Jandré Burger, 23 Diego Appollis.
Eastern Province Elephants: 15 Riaan Arendse, 14 Josiah Twum-Boafo, 13 Christopher Hollis, 12 Sherwin Slater, 11 Qeutyne Oerson, 10 Innocent Radebe (captain), 9 Luvo Claasen, 8 Luigy van Jaarsveld, 7 Anele Lungisa, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 Mncedisi Diwengu, 4 Athenkosi Manenze, 3 Luphumlo Mguca, 2 Robin Stevens, 1 Lyle Lombard.
Replacements: 16 Thembiso Befile, 17 Siya Nzuzo, 18 Emile Klassen, 19 Ronald Scheckle, 20 Arnold Kleyn, 21 Diego Williams, 22 Josh Allderman, 23 Keanu Vers.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby, Ashleigh Murray
TMO: Jaco Peyper
Photo by: speedshots.co.za
Additional source: SA Rugby