The Bulls will be looking for a third straight win when they host Melbourne’s Rebels at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Bulls have won their last two matches while the Rebels have lost their last two Super rugby matches.
- This will be the sixth meeting between the Bulls and Rebels, with the South African side has won four of the previous five iterations.
- The Rebels have never won in South Africa (D1, L12), failing to score a try in their last two such fixtures.
- The Bulls’ last three home games against Australian sides have seen a total of 28 tries scored, crossing for 17 themselves and conceding 11.
- Will Genia has a competition-high eight try assists so far, averaging one every 55 minutes.
- Amanaki Mafi is the only player to make over 100 carries so far (101), he has also made the most metres of any forward (574, 2nd most overall).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in a sunny Pretoria.
4.00: Big scrum from the Bulls pack, winning the penalty. Handre Pollard misses touch, but Jack Maddocks knocks on without much pressure in his face.
5.00: Ivan van Zyl is sporting a boss moustache.
6.00: TRY! Adriaan Strauss cannot stop scoring. The hooker bashes his way over the line. It came from Rudolph Snyman’s break and link play with fellow boiler-room partner Lood de Jager. 5-0
7.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the extras. 7-0
9.00: The Rebels get a penalty for offsides. It came from some good work, retaining the ball and going through several phases.
10.00: MISS! Reece Hodge can’t get his team on the board. 7-0
12.00: The Bulls fluff a good chance but Jesse Kriel’s poor pass halts the attack.
15.00: Pierre Schoeman is pinged for offsides at the ruck. Jack Debreczeni will take a shot.
16.00: MISS! Debreczeni wasted some more easy points. 7-0
18.00: There are some big hits being put in.
19.00: The Rebels get another penalty, this time for hands in the ruck. What do the Aussies do now?
20.00: PENALTY! Debreczeni manages to get this kick right. 7-3
23.00: TRY! The Bulls kick to touch and set up a driving maul. Burger Odendaal takes the ball at first receiver, puts in a lovely little dink-grubber which Kriel gatherers and scores under the post. 12-3
24.00: CONVERSION! Pollard can’t miss from there. 14-3
25.00: Trevor Nyakane is caught for a pre-engagement. The Rebels opt for another scrum.
26.00: BIG SCRUM from the Bulls, who won the penalty after bulldozing the Aussie set-piece.
28.00: The Bulls look like scoring everytime they attack.
30.00: Some scintillating running and offloading by the Bulls; they are tearing the Rebels apart, but not finishing their opportunities.
32.00: This time it’s the Rebels who win the scrum penalty with a powerful shift.
34.00: Strauss’ interception kickstarts another counter-attack involving the hooker (three times) and several support runners before the Bulls are penalised at the breakdown.
36.00: It’s helter-skelter at Loftus. Both teams are running angles, throwing offloads and jinking inside and out. This is hot rugby.
37.00: The Rebels are penalised for coming in from the side. Pollard boots to the corner.
38.00: Ross Haylett-Petty steals the throw and the Rebels can clear their lines. However, Adam Coleman is caught by the TMO for a late cleanout. Penalty to the Bulls, who kick to the corner.
39.00: The Rebels hold the Bulls up over their try-line. Scrum to the home team.
40.00: The hooter sounds with another Bulls scrum.
41.00: TRY! Divan Rossouw is in for the Bulls’ third. Some great interchange passing by the home team before Van Zyl’s long looping pass puts the winger away with an overlap to score. 19-3
43.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots the touchline kick.
The half-time score was Bulls 21 Rebels 3
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Loftus Versfeld.
43.00: John Michell says the game is a “bit slow for my liking” and that he’d like his team to play with “more tempo.”
45.00: The Bulls concede another penalty at the breakdown, their third penalty of six.
46.00: TRY! Michael Ruru stretches for his score. Debreczeni and Maddock’s slick handling and angled run set up the scrum-half’s try. 21-8
47.00: CONVERSION! Debreczeni adds the extras. 21-10
50.00: Shoeman spills the ball with the try-line at his mercy.
51.00: It’s the Rebels’ turn to attack. Ruru steals the ball but after several phases, Billy Meakes knocks on, giving the home side a reprieve.
54.00: Warrick Gelant breaks the Melbourne line. The fullback puts in a grubber but is tackled late by Marika Koroibete. The TMO and referee decide that it was not late, so the Rebels have the 22 drop-out.
56.00: Geoff Parling is penalised for a high tackle. Pollard, from the halfway line, will kick into the Australian’s 22.
57.00: The Rebels hold up the Bulls’ maul and get the scrum.
60.00: No contest in the lineout, so the Bulls set up another driving maul.
61.00: Maddocks intercepts a Pollard pass, which went forward after slipping out of the flyhalf’s hands.
65.00: The Melbourne Rebels have had the better of the second-half; they’ve scored, stifled the Bulls’ driving maul and got a foothold in the set-pieces.
68.00: MISS! Reece Hodge misses a long-range kick from in front of the posts. 21-10
71.00: Penalty to the Bulls for the offsides. The home team want another try and so go to the lineout. #drivingmaul on its way.
72.00: TRY! Andre Warner takes a quick-tap and crashes through the Aussie defenders, who were sleeping. 26-10
74.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds his fourth conversion. 28-10
75.00: Both hookers are off, so we are going to uncontested scrums.
76.00: Manie Libbok’s try is cancelled out after an obstruction in the build-up.
79.00: The Rebels are out on their feet, cramp and niggles taking their toll on the tourists.
80.00: The hooter sounds before the uncontested scrum takes place.
The final score: Bulls 28 (21) Rebels 10 (3)
Tries – Strauss, Kriel, Rossouw, Warner
Con – Pollard (4)
Tries – Ruru
Pen – Debreczeni
Con – Debreczeni
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Willie Vos
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Duncan Matthews.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.