Bulls

Bulls into second with 13-try mauling

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The Bulls simply blew the Reds away and scored a record 92-3 victory at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday to move into second place on the Super 14 standings and secure home ground advantage in the semi-final.

The Bulls will play the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld next week, while the Sharks will host the Blues in Durban – the first time ever that two South African teams will host play-off matches.

The game also produced a record, the biggest victory margin ever in the competition – 89 points. That beat the 77 points (96-19) with which the Crusaders beat the Waratahs by in 2002.

It is not just that the Bulls were on a mission, a mission they comfortably accomplished, it is the way in which the Bulls went about their business.

They systematically destroyed the Reds and this was a game of men against boys … the big men in blue against little boys in red.

As Bulls captain Victor Matfield said afterwards, the team obviously wanted to go out an score tries – since they needed to win by a minimum of 72 points – but they still had to do the basics well.

“We scrummed well, our line-outs were great and we were solid at the breakdown,” Matfield said.

Those were the basics. But the Bulls did more than just the basics well – they were bigger, stronger and faster in everything they did and it showed.

Now the face the Crusaders at home next week and as Matfield said, they will “give it a full go” in the semi-final.

The Bulls made their intentions clear from the outset. They were going for a big win and wanted tries.

The Reds did open the scoring, with a second-minute penalty by Clinton Schifcofske. That was the last time they looked like scoring anything.

You need the ball to score and they did not see much of the ball.

It was the Bulls who went on the run … literally,.

The first two were scored by wing Bryan Habana – in the fourth and eighth minutes – first through a number of phases before it went wide and then he picked the ball up at the side of a ruck and just sprinted away from the defence. Two Derick Hougaard conversions and it was 14-3 after eight minutes.

Hougaard slotted a penalty in the 13th minute, before the Bulls continued their try-scoring party. But by now it was obvious this was a mismatch.

Pedrie Wannenburg went over in the 17th minute, using brute force.

Hooker Gary Botha scored in the 26th minute, after Habana used his pace out wide to set up the try.

And the fifth try of the first half came when Wikus van Heerden was at the back of a very powerful maul and scored.

It made it 38-3 at the break and the Bulls were virtually keeping pace with the clock, a good sign.

The second half saw the Bulls display some of their immense backline skills and even though there were a few hints of over elaboration, they were generally very effective in finishing off moves.

Wynand Olivier scored the first try of the second half, in the 44th minute, when Pierre Spies first bust through the Reds defence and then the Bulls showed some great hand.

Spies was rewarded for his great skill and space when he scored after a quick-tap penalty and the Bulls again displayed their great hands and general skills. This try was the only one not converted.

Spies also scored try number eight, in the 58th minute, and this time it came as the Bulls took the ball through numerous phases.

In the 61st minute Van Heerden scored his second, another of those powerful mauls and then scrum-half Fourie du Preez scored in the 64th minute from a tap-‘n-go.

This was a 21-point blitz in six minutes in which the Bulls made sure they gave themselves a realistic chance of getting that 72-point winning margin.

They finished off with three more tries – two going to Derick Ku’n through strong mauling from close in, and the third came as the Reds tried desperately in the dying seconds to get a consolation score, only to turn the ball over and for Jaco van der Westhuyzen to race away for the try.

Man of the match: No this is not an occasion to reward one man. Our award goes to the entire Bulls team – all 22 players and the management staff. It took lots of planning and a huge effort by the entire squad to achieve the seemingly impossible.

The scorers:

For the Bulls:
Tries: Habana 2, Wannenburg, G Botha, Van Heerden 2, Olivier, Spies 2, Du Preez, Kuun 2, Van der Westhuyzen
Cons: Hougaard 11, Steyn
Pen: Hougaard

For the Reds:
Pen: Schifcofske

Yellow card: James Horwill (Reds, 60 – foul play, late charge)

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Johan Roets, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Heinie Adams, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Engels, 17 Danie Thiart, 18 Bakkies Botha, 19 Derick Ku’n, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Morn’ Steyn, 22 Jaco van der Westhuyzen

Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Andrew Walker, 13 Ben Tune, 12 Quade Cooper, 11 Brando Va’aulu, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Nic Berry, 8 Tom McVerry, 7 David Croft (c), 6 Mitch Chapman, 5 James Horwill, 4 Ed O’Donoghue, 3 David Te Moana, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tama Tuirirangi
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Herman Hunt, 18 Cam Treloar, 19 Geoff Abram, 20 Will Genia/AJ Gilbert, 21 Andrew Brown, 22 Peter Hynes

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Schalk Walsh (New Zealand), Pro Legoete (South Africa)
Television match official: Sean Veldsman (South Africa)
Assessor: Tappe Henning, Sandy MacNeill

 365 Digital

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