Super Rugby

Bonus-point Bulls repel Rebels

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The Bulls beat the Rebels 28-10 in an exciting contest at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.

The Bulls led 21-3 at the break after tries from Adriaan Strauss, Jesse Kriel and Divan Rossouw.

Michael Ruru hit back for the Melbourne Rebels after the break.

The Melbourne side had the better of the second-half but could not find a way through the blue wall.

Andre Warner came off the bench to score the game-clinching try, taking a quick-tap penalty and powering through two defenders to score.

John Mitchell’s men were good value for this bonus-point victory over the Australians.

The loss keeps the Rebels winless in 14 matches in the Republic.

Commanding opening 40 minutes by the Bulls.

Adriaan Strauss, who said this week that he is enjoying his rugby again, is enjoying scoring just as much.

The hooker bashed his way over the line in the sixth minute.

It came from Rudolph Snyman’s break and link play with fellow boiler-room partner Lood de Jager.

Reece Hodge and Jack Debreczeni both missed penalties inside the next 10 minutes.

Debreczeni finally got the Rebels on the board with a successful kick.

Both scrums were winning and conceding penalties at the engagement area.

Dave Wessels’ side was also defending the Bulls’ driving maul, well. They halted most attempts, forcing the home team, wide.

Mitchell has his team playing with pace and tempo, opting for lineouts to set up drives rather than the traditional Pretoria way of kicking for poles.

Some scintillating running and offloading by the Bulls were tearing the Rebels apart, but they not finishing their opportunities.

The Bulls kicked to touch and set up a driving maul.

Burger Odendaal gathered the ball at first receiver, put in a lovely little dink-grubber for Kriel, who collected the bouncing ball and scored under the post.

Handre Pollard’s conversion put his side 14-3 up after 24 minutes.

It was a bit of an arm-wrestle until just after the half-time hooter sounded.

Some great interchange passing by the home team before Ivan Van Zyl’s long looping pass put Rossouw away with an overlap, to score.

Rebels show steal and mount a second-half fightback.

Michell, during the break, said at that the game was a “bit slow for my liking” and that he’d like his team to play with “more tempo.”

They started slowly, however, making errors while trying to force the play.

The Melbourne Rebels had the better of the second-half, stifling the Bulls’ driving maul and got a foothold in the set-pieces.

The tactic played into the tourist’s hands, and they started to grow into the game.

The handling errors kept mounting because both sides tried expansive passes and offloads in the contact areas.

The Melbourne side was enjoying long periods of territory and possession, camping inside their host’s half.

Ruru stole the ball but after several phases, Billy Meakes knocked on, giving the home side a reprieve.

Hodge missed a long-range effort which he really should have nailed.

This meant the visitors had left nine points on the field, and in a close contest, this is criminal; a sure-fire way of losing.

Warner crossed four minutes’ later, sealing the deal and gifting the home team a valuable bonus-point.

Players were starting to drop with niggles, cramp and head knock.

When both hookers left the field, the game petered out into uncontested scrums.

Bulls versus Rebels video highlights.

Final score: Bulls 28 (21) Rebels 10 (3)

Scorers

Bulls
Tries – Strauss, Kriel, Rossouw, Warner
Pen –
Con – Pollard (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Rebels
Tries – Ruru
Pen – Debreczeni
Con – Debreczeni
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Willie Vos

Teams

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Duncan Matthews.

Melbourne Rebels

15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.

Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.

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