Currie Cup

Blues Bulls beat Leopards in Currie Cup

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An ill-disciplined Leopards side lost their seventh successive Currie Cup match against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld and ended the match with only 12 players on the field after four yellow and two red cards were issued their players.
 
The Leopards scored all of their points in the first half and were unable to add any points in the second half.
 
The Blue Bulls scored six tries in their 44-11 win.
 
The Leopards, who came into the game with a record of six yellow cards and a red in the season, had another six cards – one of which was a red for prop Barend van der Walt’s second yellow card offence.
 
That gives them a total of 10 yellow cards and three reds in their seven matches to date.
 
Shortly after Van der Walt’s second and final departure, the Leopards lost Basil de Doncker with a yellow to leave them with only 12 men on the field – and when No 8 RW Kember received his red for a late shoulder charge on the Blue Bulls’ Francois Hougaard, they were nearly down to 11 men .
 
However, Thabo Mamojele then returned after his 10 minutes sin-binning for a yellow.
 
Hougaard, who had a lively game as scrumhalf before he was moved to wing in the latter part of the match, was helped from the field with what looked like a rib injury in a second injury setback for the Blue Bulls.
 
Five minutes before halftime, the hosts had lost Springbok Akona Ndungane in his comeback match after recurring shin splint problems. This time it was a fracture of Ndungane’s lower leg, and his interrupted season seems to have run its course. Blue Bulls prop Dean Greyling was also sin-binned for a ruck offence.
 
The young home team, with nine changes including the positional switches in the starting line-up and six Under-21s in the squad, were simply too much for an initially game but outgunned Leopards team.
 
The Blue Bulls scored 21 points without reply in the second half. The victory also gave the Blue Bulls a bonus point and left the Leopards winless after the first round.
 
The win was probably not as convincing as some would have expected, but gave a necessary break to a number of the Blue Bulls players and also the opportunity for some young stars of the future to make their mark.
 
The home side were behind two minutes into the game following a Cecil Dumond penalty.
 
The Leopards’ joy subsided when Emerging Springbok centre Deon van Rensburg was carried off with concussion after five minutes.
 
By now the Blue Bulls had taken over control and were pressing in or just outside the Leopards 22 and two minutes later Burton Francis put them square at 3-all via a penalty.
 
In the 12th minute they converted the pressure to points when flyhalf Francis stabbed a kick through for Jaco Pretorius to press it down. With the successful conversion, the Bulls were 10-3 up and looked on their way to a big lead.
 
And the impression was reinforced when Deon Stegmann went over from a maul shortly after a similar Bulls effort had failed to bring points. Another conversion made it 17-3 after 18 minutes.
 
But the Leopards, despite putting pressure on themselves by running from their own 22, struck back 10 minutes later when they ran hard and straight from a scrum for wing Danie Dames to go over in the corner.
 
Flyhalf Clayton Durand, on for Dumond who was off with a blood injury, then slotted a penalty and at 17-11 the Blue Bulls were ahead but not really in command.
 
A well-taken drop by Francis from about 47 metres three minutes before the break saw the Blue Bulls lead 20-11 at halftime – and when it became 27-11 five minutes after the break with a converted try by Flip van der Merwe, the match was won.
 
The bonus point try came 15 minutes into the second half when Hougaard went over following a maul from a lineout that was brought down and Francis again converted (34-11).
 
Werner Kruger then fly-kicked a ball from the halfway line and Gerhard van den Heever’s good chase resulted in yet another try, although unconverted (39-11).
 
In between the yellow and red cards the Leopards received Blue Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter scored their sixth (unconverted) try in the 79th minute.
 
Final Score Blue Bulls 44 Leopards 11
 
Scorers:
 
Blue Bulls:
Tries: Jaco Pretorius, Deon Stegmann, Flip van der Merwe, Francois Hougaard, Gerhard van den Heever, Dewald Potgieter.
Conversions: Burton Francis (4).
Penalty: Francis.
Drop goal: Francis.
 
Leopards:
Danie Dames.
Penalties: Cecil Dumond, Clayton Durand.

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