Bulls fling Highlanders



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The Bulls bounced back from last week’s Hurricanes drubbing hammering the Highlanders by 47 points to 17 scoring six tries in the process.

The Bulls opened the scoring in the first five minutes and kept up the momentum until the 45th minute when they scored the bonus point try.

Once they had secured the bonus point try they went off the boil and allowed the Highlanders to come back into the game before coming back at the death to score two more tries.

In turmoil and with their trophy weighing heavily on their shoulders the outgoing Super 14 champions the Bulls, produced a rare but clinical performance at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Bulls eventually broke a five match losing streak that had culminated in Bulls coach Frans Ludeke dropping three Springboks namely Danie Rossouw, Pedrie Wannenburg and Derick Hougaard.

Furthermore the Bulls came into the game with a change of leadership after Fourie du Preez was ruled out of the encounter with an injured hand leaving Wikus van Heerden to take over the captaincy.

The changes in the Bulls team made a difference as the first South African Super 14 champions enjoyed a comfortable 21-0 lead by the 20th minute courtesy of tries from fullback Zane Kirchner and wing Akona Ndungane and three Morne Steyn penalties.

The Bulls threw bodies behind the ball in attack from the onset and were rewarded as early as the first minute through a Steyn penalty. Two minutes later the Bulls stretched their lead by a further five points when Kirchner picked up a Bryan Habana grubber to score in the left hand corner.

In the 10th and 17th minutes Steyn took the Bulls forward with two additional penalties before Akona Ndungane crashed over in the 20th minute.

The Highlanders failed to trouble the Bulls much in the first half and only managed to bother the scoreboard operator in the 25th minute through a penalty by James Wilson.

In the 31st minute the Highlanders were dealt a blow when wing Fetu’u Vainikolo was justifiably yellow carded for a tackle in the air on Ndungane.

The Bulls took firm control of proceedings two minutes before the half-time interval when Kirchner scored his second try of the afternoon.

The Bulls also began the second half with the same gusto they did the first with JP Nel crashed over in the 45th minute to score the Bulls first bonus point try of the season to give the hosts a 35-3 lead.

The Highlanders threatened to steal victory from the jaws of defeat with two tries by Chris King in the 62nd minute and Tom Donnelly in the 71st minute but the mountain was too high to climb for the New Zealanders who became the first team from their country to lose at Loftus this year.

The Bulls completed this unlikeliest of wins with two late tries by Wannenburg and Ndungane in the 73rd and 76th minutes.

 Final score Bulls 47 Highlanders 17





Tries –  Zane Kirchner (2), Akona Ndungane (2), JP Nel,Pedrie Wannenburg

Pen – Morne Steyn (3)

Con – Morne Steyn (4)
Cards – Danie Rossouw (yellow)



Tries – Chris King, Tom Donnelly

Pen – James Wilson

Con – James Wilson (2)

Cards – Fetu’u Vainikolo (yellow)


Saturday April 19
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Touch judges: Geoff Acton (Australia), Willie Roos (South Africa)
Television match official: Michael Cupido (South Africa)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel (New Zealand),
Performance Auditor: Arrie Schoonwinkel (South Africa)



15-1- Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JP Nel, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Heini Adams, Pierre Spies, Wikus van Heerden (c), Deon Stegmann, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Bakkies Botha, Werner Kruger, Derick Kuun, Gurthro Steenkamp.

Reserves: Bandisa Maku, Jaco Engels, Rayno Gerber, Danie Rossouw,Francois Hougaard, Derick Hougaard, Pedrie Wannenburg.


15. Paul Williams ,14. Matt Saunders ,13. Niva Ta’auso,12. Johnny Leota,11. Fetu’u Vainikolo,10. James Wilson,9. Jimmy Cowan ( vc ),8. Steven Setephano ,7. Alando Soakai,6. Craig Newby ( c ),5. Tom Donnelly,4. Hoani MacDonald,3. Clint Newland,2. Jason Macdonald,1. Jamie Mackintosh

Reserves:16. David Hall,17. Chris King,18. Hayden Triggs,19. Tim Boys,20. Toby Morland,21. Daniel Bowden,22. Brett Mather.



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