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Late Cruden try earns Chiefs a draw against Bulls

Tawera Kerr-Barlow clears the ball for the Chiefs

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Article Published: Saturday 29 March 2014|

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Aaron Cruden scored a late try to secure a bonus point 34-all draw for Super Rugby Champions the Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Both teams take two points for the draw but the Chiefs take an extra point as they scored five tries in the contest.

The result means that the Bulls have gone four matches without loss and this is their first draw at home since March 2004 when they drew 16-all with the Highlanders.

The Chiefs came from 16 points down to level the scores at 34-all and give the Bulls their second draw in Super Rugby at Loftus.

With a bonus point for five tries, the visitors took three points out of the match compared to the two of the Bulls to technically emerge as winners of the encounter.

The home side were not only outplayed by the opposition but they seemed to sabotage their own efforts in the opening exchanges.

The hosts miraculously managed to keep the Chiefs at arms' length as they went into the half-time break with a one-point deficit.

In the build-up to the match, the Bulls warned against giving the free-running Chiefs side turnover ball, but they did not seem to heed their own advice.

The Chiefs scored their two first-half tries from turnovers deep inside their half and could have scored more five-pointers.

The Bulls gifted the tourists with plenty of turnover ball thanks to handling errors and kickers not finding the touchline.

Bulls flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter scored the first points of the match through a penalty conversion 10 minutes into the encounter.

The Chiefs, however, soon demonstrated how easy they make scoring tries look when fullback Mils Muliaina scored their first of five tries.

The try resulted from a clearance kick that did not go into touch, and instead the visitors ran the ball from inside their own half with Muliaina running into a gap to score the try, with flyhalf Aaron Cruden missing the conversion.

Four minutes later the Chiefs pounced when the Bulls lost possession in contact inside the opposition's 22 to see Liam Messam scoring for his side.

Cruden converted the try to give his side a nine-point lead before Potgieter added three more points for his side in the 23rd minute.

The Bulls, however, bounced back from the early setbacks to find their way over the whitewash in the 29th minute with flanker Deon Stegmann scoring from the back of a driving maul that emanated from a lineout.

Potgieter missed with the conversion kick and instead of giving his side a two-point lead, a single point separated the sides.

Four minutes from the break the Chiefs were denied their third try of the half when the Television Match Official ruled Muliaina had knocked the ball on a metre before the line.

Cruden slotted a penalty conversion in the 37th minute before Potgieter reduced the deficit to one point going into the break.

The Bulls surged back into contention shortly after the restart when match referee Craig Joubert awarded a penalty try against the Chiefs for collapsing a driving maul metres from the line in the 45th minute.

Lock Matt Symons received his marching orders for the infringement as Potgieter converted to give his side the lead for the second time in the match.

Three minutes later the Bulls again made their way over the tryline when flyer Bjorn Basson stepped inside and out again before he put the ball on his right foot to regather for the try.

Potgieter converted the try and added another penalty conversion in the 55th minute for a comfortable 16-point lead.

However, the unpredictable Chiefs soon erased the advantage in the last 10 minutes of the match.

First Gareth Anscombe finished a movement that emanated from a attacking scrum inside their 22 in the 70th minute, with the try-scorer also converting.

Instead of going for the lineout to setup a driving maul that had been successful for the Bulls, captain Victor Matfield opted for three points in the 75th minute.

The 12-point cushion proved of little value as the Chiefs scored again through Symons in the 76th minute before Cruden scored at the death to level the scores.

Final Score Bulls 34 (14) Chiefs 34 (15)

Scorers

Bulls
Tries - D.Stegmann. Penalty try, B.Basson
Pen - J.Potgieter 5
Con -J.Potgieter 2
Drop -
Cards -

Chiefs
Tries - M. Muliaina, L.Messam, G.Anscombe, M.Symonds, A Cruden
Pen - A.Cruden
Con - A.Cruden 2, Anscombe
Drop -
Cards - M.Symons (45th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee:
Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1: Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Marc van Zyl
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Teams

Bulls

15 Jurgen Visser , 14 Akona Ndungane , 13 J J Engelbrecht , 12 Jan Serfontein , 11 Bjorn Basson , 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter , 9 Francois Hougaard , 8 Dewald Potgieter , 7 Jacques du Plessis , 6 Deon Stegmann , 5 Victor Matfield (c) , 4 Paul Willemse , 3 Werner Kruger , 2 Callie Visagie , 1 Dean Greyling

Replacements : 16 Bongi Mbonambi , 17 Marcel vd Merwe , 18 Grant Hattingh , 19 Jono Ross , 20 Piet van Zyl , 21 Handre Pollard , 22 Ulrich Beyers , 23 Morne Mellet

Chiefs

1. Pauliasi Manu ,2. Rhys Marshall ,3. Ben Tameifuna ,4. Matt Symons ,5. Brodie Retallick,6. Liam Messam,7. Tanerau Latimer,8. Kane Thompson,9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow,10. Aaron Cruden (c),11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma ,12. Tom Marshall,13. Andrew Horrell,14. Anton Lienert-Brown,15. Mils Muliaina

Replacements :16. Mahonri Schwalger,17. Jamie Mackintosh,18. Ben Afeaki,19. Michael Fitzgerald ,20. Sam Cane,21. Augustine Pulu ,22. Gareth Anscombe ,23. Tim Nanai-Williams

 
 
 
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