Super Rugby

Bulls beat Highlanders in Pretoria

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The Bulls have played the Highlanders 20 times in Super Rugby since 1998, the Bulls have won five matches, lost 13 times and drawn twice.

The Bulls five measly give them a record of winning 25% of their matches against the Highlanders regardless of venue.

  • The Highlanders have won five of their last seven games against the Bulls (D1, L1), although each of their victories in that run came by seven points or fewer.
  • The New Zealanders have lost their last three games away to South African opposition; they’ve not endured a longer such run since a run of five defeats stretching from 2006 to 2008.
  • The Bulls have lost their opening four games of the 2020 Super Rugby campaign despite leading at halftime twice in that time; the last time they opened a season with more consecutive defeats was in 2002 when they lost all 11 games of the campaign.
  • No side has been shown more yellow cards this Super Rugby campaign than the Highlanders (4); indeed, the Dunedin squad have received five yellow cards in their last five games, as many as they had seen in their 21 games prior.
  • Rosko Speckman (Bulls) has made an average gain of 10.3 run-metres this Super Rugby campaign, the most of any player to have made at least 20 carries this term.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld for this battle of the basement.

3.00: An early penalty for the Highlanders after the Bulls get caught offside.

5.00: Both teams are searching for a win as they only have one victory between themselves from eight combined games, this season.

6.00: BIG SCRUM! The Bulls pack generate some power, winning the scrum-penalty. Manie Libbok clears to halfway.

8.00: Both teams are decked out in blue kits. How this was allowed is anyone’s guess.

9.00: Ruan Nortje steals the Highlanders lineout, the Bulls clear.

10.00: TRY! The Highlanders do strike, from a lineout outside the Bulls’ 22. Lots of dummy runners, some quick-ball and slick passing sees Josh Ioane cross for the game’s opening score. 0-5

12.00: CONVERSION! Ioane converts his try. 0-7

14.00: The Bulls have a chance to take a shot at goal; instead, they go to their driving maul.

15.00: TRY! Jaco Visagie gets the score after flopping over the whitewash from the powerful maul. 5-7

17.00: MISS! Libbok pulls his kick wide of the posts. 5-7

18.00: NO TRY! Can you believe it, the New Zealanders butcher a sure thing. They had a four on two over-lap outside the Bulls’ 22 following a slick counter-attack from their 22. Rosco Specman went close before the Kiwis won the turnover, and caught the hosts napping. However, Dillon Hunt knocked the ball on after contact under the posts. 5-7

21.00: Libbok cleans up a bouncing ball near his goal-line; however, he tries to run the ball out, and instead of kicking, he is tackled and loses possession. Highlanders have the ball.

22.00: The Kiwis try to go quickly down the right-hand touchline, but Aaron Smith is tackled out. That is poor from the All Blacks scrumhalf.

25.00: The teams take some water as a player is seen to by the medics. The game is scrappy, littered with errors by two poor teams.

27.00: Both teams going to the boot to try a generate a territorial advantage.

31.00: Bulls give away the penalty for offside.

32.00: Smith points to the uprights, which is a moral victory for Pote Human’s beleaguered team.

34.00: PENALTY! Ioane extends the lead. 5-10

37.00: This game is the worst of the round; it’s really poor.

39.00: Josh Strauss kick-starts a rare Bulls counter-attack that has moved from their half to the opposition’s 22.

40.00: A wild pass from Strauss to Specman, who knocks-on, kills the nine-phase attack inside the visitor’s 22. The Bulls have not scored after 7+ phases all season: YOH!

The halftime score was Bulls 5 Highlanders 10

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway on the Highveld. There has been a jersey change at halftime; the Bulls have gone to their white change-strip to put an end to this farce.

43.00: Ioane calls for the tee.

44.00: PENALTY! Josh Ioane adds another three. 5-13

46.00: The Bulls set-up an attacking lineout on the Highlanders’ 5m.

48.00: TRY! Warrick Gelant rounds a defender, and waltzes over for his side’s second try.

50.00: CONVERSION! Libbok makes it a one-point ball-game. 12-13

52.00: Another scrum is reset.

55.00: The Bulls are starting to look good here, dare I say it, they are on top.

56.00: TRY! A sustained attack ends with Specman, who had earlier cleaned out a ruck, dances his way over for the Bulls’ third try. 17-13

57.00: CONVERSION! Libbok adds the extras. 19-13

60.00: Another strong scrum by the Bulls, but the Highlanders pack manages to stay upright before Ioane clears to touch.

61.00: TRY! Specman finishes off a slick backline move to claim his second try. Gelant made the break, drew the defender before combining with Johnny Kotze, who put the former Blitzboks flyer in the corner. 24-13

63.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 26-13

65.00: The Highlanders think they have scored, but the TMO rules that they had infringed at the ruck, and in a previous tackle, so the hosts get the penalty, which they clear.

66.00: Morne Steyn enters the fray.

69.00: It’s all the Bulls at the moment, the Highlanders are fading.

72.00: TRY! HAT-TRICK for Specman. The Bulls pound away at the Kiwis before going wide to Steyn. The club legend throws a skip-pass to Specman, cutting out two defenders, and the winger has a treble. 31-13

73.00: CONVERSION! Steyn increases the lead. Game Over! 33-13

77.00: The Bulls crowd is going nuts. They needed this win.

79.00: TRY! Cornal Hendricks gets in on the act, now. 38-13

81.00: MISS! Steyn cannot bring up the forty-burger, but no-one cares; the Bulls have a win. I repeat, the Bulls have won.

FULL TIME

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The final score is Bulls 38 (5) Highlanders 13 (10)

Scorers

Bulls
Tries – Visagie, Gelant, Specman (3)
Pen –
Con – Libbok (3), Steyn
Drop –
Cards –

Highlanders
Tries – J. Ioane
Pen – J. Ioane (2)
Con – J. Ioane
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 1: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO: Willie Vos

Teams

Bulls

Head Coach: Pote Human

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Muller Uys (debut), 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ian Groenewald (debut), 3 Trevor Nyakane (captain), 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenkamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ryno Pieterse, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Highlanders

Head Coach: Aaron Mauger

15 Michael Collins, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Ngane Punivai, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 4 Jesse Parete, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.

Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Teihorangi Walden, 23 Tima Fainga’anuku.

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