The final match of the 13th Round in Super rugby 2018 is in Pretoria where the Bulls host the Sharks.
This match is a rematch of the 2007 Super Rugby final which was won by the Bulls but played in Durban. The Bulls won that final 19-20.
- The Bulls are unbeaten in their last six games against the Sharks (W5, D1), restricting the Durban side to fewer than 20 points in five of those matches.
- The Sharks are winless in their last five trips to Loftus Versfeld (D1, L4), although each of those defeats has come by eight points or fewer.
- The Bulls have finished six of their last eight games with a 100% goal-kicking accuracy, missing just three of 29 attempts at the sticks in that time.
- The Bulls (164) have scored more first-half points this season than any other team in the competition.
- Robert du Preez has made eight try assists this campaign, the equal most of any player in the competition; the Sharks’ flyhalf also leads the competition in total points scored (132).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Pretoria.
4.00: Both teams looking for territory and going to the boot in search of it.
6.00: The Sharks go wide but the ball is lost in touch.
7.00: Rasta Rasivhenge is talking to the Bulls front row about binding and pre-engaging.
10.00: YELLOW CARD! Curwin Bosch is off. Jean-Luc du Preez breaks through the Bulls backline and throws a long wide pass which results in a Sharks try, but the ref and the TMO have gone back for foul play by Bosch. The fullback tried to trip a Bulls player and is in the bin.
11.00: TRY! Warrick Gelant latches onto Jesse Kriel’s grubber-kick. The ball bounces away from Sibusiso Nkosi and the fullback is in for the game’s opening try. 5-0
12.00: MISS! Pollard’s kick is wide. 5-0
14.00: Both teams still kicking for territory. Gelant and Pollard going to the boot for the Bulls while Cameron Wright and Rob du Preez are doing it for the Sharks.
15.00: TRY! Kriel is over after beating two forwards and ghosting through the gap. The Bulls spread the ball wide before the centre stepped and made a bee-line for the goal-line. 10-0
16.00: CONVERSION! Pollard can’t miss from in front. 12-0
19.00: Another massive scrum by the Bulls, but the Sharks get the ball out and go wide. The Durban side needs to get their hands on the ball or this will fast become a rout.
21.00: Can’t believe Adriaan Strauss has not scored yet.
23.00: TRY! Bosch is over – again – after taking Beast Mtawarira’s offload. Akker van der Merwe broke two tackles before playing the Beast. 12-5
24.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good from Rob du Preez. 12-7
26.00: TRY! Travis Ismaiel’s acrobatics keeps play alive and Roelof Smit picks up the loose ball and walks over the try-line. 17-7
27.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots the side-line kick. 19-7
30.00: The sharks, at every opportunity, are looking to go wide. It’s just their handling and final pass that is killing their momentum.
33.00: The Bulls are hammering away at the Sharks line. Wright is hit off-the-ball by Rudolph Snyman and the away team gets a penalty. We are going upstairs for foul play.
34.00: YELLOW CARD! Snyman is off for 10 minutes.
34.00: TRY! The Sharks go short in the lineout and Jacques Vermeulen is in for the score. Great forwards move by the Durbanites. 19-12
35.00: CONVERSION! Du Preez’s kick is good. 19-14
36.00: Thomas du Toit is caught offsides. Pollard calls for the tee.
38.00: PENALTY! Pollard slots the long-range kick and extends the lead to eight. 22-14
40.00: Van der Merwe wins another penalty at the ruck. Bosch will take a long-range kick. It looks about 57 metres, but on the highveld, that is like 35 at sea level.
42.00: PENALTY! Bosch’s kick sails over with room to spare. It almost landed in Hatfield. 22-17
The halftime score was Bulls 22 Sharks 17
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Pretoria.
42.00: The Bulls conceded another penalty at the ruck. Bosch calls for the tee, this time from 60 metres on the angle.
43.00: MISS! The kick comes up short. 22-17
45.00: some wonderful carrying and offloading by the Sharks forwards are rewarded with another penalty attempt.
46.00: PENALTY! Rob du Preez reduces the deficit. 22-20
47.00: Andre Esterhuizen clears but he was outside his 22. The Bulls have the lineout on the 22.
49.00: The Sharks are starting to get a foothold in the scrums and lineouts. Their work at the breakdown has been superb. They have only had 37 percent possession, too and have double the metres made than the Blue Bulls.
51.00: Lood de Jager is caught offsides. Du Preez will take another shot at goal.
52.00: PENALTY! Du Preez makes no mistake from in front. 22-23
54.00: TRY! Johnny Kotze is over after some wonderful skills from Gelant, who toes the ball forward and plays the offload to the left wing: wow! 27-23
55.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots the touchline kick. 29-23
57.00: This has been a bruising encounter. Mahlatse Ralepelle enters for his 100th Super Rugby cap.
58.00: The Sharks are on the attack inside the Bulls half.
59.00: We are approaching the final quarter of what has been an absorbing contest. The Blue Bulls hold the advantage on the scoreboard but this match is still well and truly up for grabs.
60.00: Scrum to the Bulls and they win a penalty from it. It’s kicked forward by Pollard but not in touch.
63.00: The home team is on the attack inside the Sharks 22. They are making metres but also sending the ball to the wide channels.
65.00: TRY! De Jager is over for the Bulls’ fifth score of the evening. He powered his way over, after Kriel broke into the 22, carrying three players with him. 34-23
66.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the extras. 36-23
68.00: Time is running out for the visitors. They need to get a try, and fast.
69.00: YELLOW CARD! Lukhanyo Am is sent to the sideline. 36-23
69.00: PENALTY! Pollard slots the kick. 39-23
70.00: TRY! Jean-Luc du Preez is over after taking an inside pass. His score has given the visitors some hope. 39-28
70.00: conversion! His brother adds the extras: game on! 39-30
73.00: The Sharks have the momentum now and are barging their way up the field.
75.00: Scrum to the Sharks; it’s now or never.
77.00: The game is winding down with handling errors and scrum resets.
80.00: The hooter sounds. The sharks have another penalty, this time they will take a shot at goal and try secure a losing bonus-point.
81.00: PENALTY! Du Preez makes no mistake, and he secures an important losing bonus-point. 39-33
In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.
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The final score: Bulls 39 (22) Sharks 33 (17)
Tries – Gelant, Kriel, Smith, Kotze, De Jager
Pen – Pollard (2)
Con – Pollard (4)
Cards – Snyman (Yellow, 34′)
Tries – Bosch, Vermeulen, J. du Preez
Pen – Bosch, R. du Preez (3)
Con – R. du Preez (3)
Cards – Bosch (Yellow, 10′), Am (Yellow, 69′)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 2: Archie Selanko
TMO: Marius Jonker
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 John-Ben Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Jason Jenkins, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.