Super Rugby

Bulls beat Pumas in Pretoria




This is the first meeting between the Bulls and Pumas in Super Rugby Unlocked 2020. The Pretoria-based team has been the form team, sitting top of the table with four wins from five matches.

The Mpumalanga side has one win from four games, which keeps them ahead of Griquas in sixth place, having already beaten the Kimberley team.

  • Bulls have won their last three Super Rugby Unlocked games on the bounce, including a come-from-behind 30-25 Round 5 win against the Lions.
  • The Bulls have conceded fewer clean breaks (3.4) and beaten fewer defenders (14.4) per game this Super Rugby Unlocked season than any other team in the competition.
  • The Mpumalanga side has led at half-time in two of their last three Super Rugby Unlocked fixtures; however, they have managed to go on to win only once in that stretch.
  • The Pumas Round 6 match against the Lions was called off due to Covid-19, so they have had two weeks to prepare for their illustrious opponents.
  • Eddie Fouche has kicked 15/15 goals in Super Rugby Unlocked; Stormers utility back Tim Swiel (6/6) is the only other player with a 100% success rate.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Pretoria.

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2.00: Willem Engelbrecht, whose father passed away last evening, starts for the Pumas; the teams observed a moment’s silence in honour of the number eight’s dad.

4.00: A solid first scrum from the Pumas, however, they lose their first lineout throw of the game.

7.00: Pumas are offside. Chris Smith, starting in place of Morné Steyn, kicks to the corner.

9.00: The visitors sack the Bulls’ maul, but the home team keeps coming. They go close through Kurt-Lee Arendse, but the winger is kept out. However, another penalty goes against the Mpumalanga men for offside. Smith kicks to the corner again.

11.00: The hosts employ the same tactics, using pick-and-drives after the maul is sacked before sending the ball wide to Kurt-Lee Arendse, who manages to get over the try line this time. 5-0

12.00: CONVERSION! Smith adds the extras. 7-0

15.00: Willem Engelbrecht gives away a penalty, Smith turns down the posts again, opting for an attacking lineout.

17.00: TRY! Chris Smith powers through three defenders to score his team’s second try. 12-0

18.00: CONVERSION! The 26-year-old flyhalf shaves the posts, but his kick is good. 14-0

22.00: NO TRY! Walt Steenkamp, with the try line at his mercy, knocks-on over the goal-line. That was poor by the lock. 14-0

24.00: The Bulls forwards bulldoze their opponents, win the penalty, and kick to the corner.

24.00: TRY! Ivan van Zyl picks up from the back of the ruck and stretches out his arm to score. It’s all too easy for the Bulls in what is turning into a rout. 19-0

25.00: CONVERSION! Smith lands another kick. 21-0

29.00: The Bulls go through 11 phases before winning their ninth penalty of the game. They kick to the corner, still searching for the rumbling driving maul.

32.00: Corniel Els, licking his lips at the chance of a try, also knocks-on the ball in an attempt to pick-and-drive from close range.

35.00: Two more penalties after the initial scrum-penalty sees Duane Vermeulen opt for a scrum under the posts.

38.00: The hosts have turned the game into a set-piece practice session. The Pumas penalties are mounting and it will not be long before Aimee Barrett-Theron goes to her pocket.

39.00: Penalty to the Pumas as Aimee Barrett-Theron deems that the Bulls collapsed a 5m attacking scrum; that is crazy!

41.00: The hooter goes, the ball is booted into touch.

The halftime score was Bulls 21 Pumas 0

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.

43.00: Pumas win a rare penalty and kick to the opposition’s 22. The Bulls collapse the driving maul allowing Theo Boshoff to kick to the corner.

44.00: More penalties lead to Theo Boshoff kicking to the corner again. This is the longest spell of possession for the visitors all game (three minutes).

46.00: Phumzile Maqondwana gives away a penalty for not rolling away after the Pumas lost another turnover.

48.00: TRY! HP van Schoor flops over the whitewash after a powerful driving maul. 21-5

49.00: MISS! Boshoff can’t add the extras. 21-5

52.00: Pumas are enjoying some rare possession since half time, but they give away a penalty when in control of the ball.

54.00: Marco van Staden knocks-on inside the opposition’s 22. Pumas clear the danger, but not into touch as their hosts counter-attack from deep. Stonehouse’s men win back the ball, and start an attack of their own from inside their half.

55.00: The attack ends when Travis Ismaiel knocks-on near halfway. This game is breaking up with all the errors.

60.00: The Pumas have really put the Bulls off their game; they are controlling the ball, and forcing their hosts into some ill-discipline as they lose their heads. The penalties are mounting against the home team, which is allowing the visitors to set up camp inside their half.

61.00: Bulls win an important defensive lineout on their line, but the clearance is shanked into touch by the Bulls’ 22.

65.00: A couple of reset scrums has taken time off the clock; the quicker this game is over, the better.

67.00: Another good opportunity for the Pumas after winning a lineout-penalty.

68.00: A well-contested lineout by Ruan Nortje leads to a Pumas scrum, 15 metres from touch and 10 metres from the try line.

70.00: What do you know, the Pumas botch the attacking opportunity. The Bulls hack the loose ball down the field and it leads to a penalty for themselves.

72.00: Superb defending by the visitors as they not only stop the Bulls’ driving maul but the force the turnover with a counter drive.

75.00: The game is a mess, but the Pumas feel themselves, opting to kick-pass on their goal line, which obviously did not come off.

78.00: Pumas win a penalty inside the Bulls 22. This has been an epic failure by the home team, who fell apart after their third try in the 25th-minute.

81.00: The Pumas boot the ball into touch, they’ve had enough. The visitors did well to keep the Bulls scoreless from the 25th-minute despite the massive gap in class. Game over!


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The final score is Bulls 21 (21) Pumas 5 (0)


Tries – Arendse, Smith, Van Zyl
Pen –
Con – Smith (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Van Schoor
Pen –
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen



15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren

15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Theo Boshoff, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Willem Engelbrecht, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 HP van Schoor, 1 Morgan Naude

Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Ig Prinsloo, 18 Brandon Valentyn, 19 Daniel Maartens, 20 Ginter Smuts, 21 Ali Mgijima, 22 Tapiwa Mafura, 23 Liam Hendricks

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