Super Rugby

Bulls beat Waratahs in Pretoria




The Bulls have played the Waratahs 19 times in Super Rugby since 1998, the Bulls have won 10 matches and lost nine.

The Bulls 10 wins give them a record of winning 53% of their matches against the Waratahs regardless of venue.

  • The NSW Waratahs have won their last two games against the Bulls in Super Rugby, this after a run of eight straight losses against the Pretoria-based side.
  • The Bulls have won 21 of their last 23 at home to Australian Super Rugby opposition (L2), scoring an average of 38 points-per-game.
  • The Waratahs have lost their last three games against South African teams, the last time they lost more in succession a five-game stretch from May 2012 to April 2013.
  • The Bulls made 26 clean breaks in their last Super Rugby game against Australian opposition, their most in a single game in the last nine seasons.
  • Michael Hooper (Waratahs) leads Super Rugby in 2019 for tackles (138), a Bulls player is yet to reach 100 tackles for 2019 (Jesse Kriel, 74).

Match detail

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

1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld.

2.00: We have a late change. Dylan Sage comes in for John-Ben Kotze at outside centre. Kotze moves inside for Burger Odendaal. Divan Rossouw comes onto the bench for Sage.

3.00: The Waratahs turn possession over and begin a counter-attack from halfway. It was good work by hooker Damien Fitzpatrick, who won the turnover. The crowd is quiet, very quiet.

4.00: The Bulls win a penalty for a high tackle by Lachlan Swinton. He didn’t use his arms, either.

6.00: Waratahs keep the Bulls pinned inside their half. Warrick Gelant clears, but the ball is not out. The Tahs slow the play down before Nick Phipps puts up a bomb.

7.00: The Bulls run the ball back at the tourists, and they win a penalty at the ruck. As expected, Handré Pollard will take a shot at goal.

8.00: PENALTY! The Blue Bulls captain puts his side on the board. 3-0

9.00: TRY! Easy as you like from Gelant, who strolls in for the game’s opening try. Rosko Specman found Pollard with a long pass, the flyhalf sent the ball wide to Gelant. The fullback was put through a big hole by Dylan Sage. 8-0

10.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the extras. 10-0

11.00: TRY! New South Wales hit back immediately after winning the turnover after the restart. Karmichael Hunt won the turnover after Gelant was isolated. The ball was sent to Ned Hanigan, who went close before offloading to Nick Phipps. The No 9 dotted down under the sticks. 10-5

13.00: CONVERSION! Bernard Foley adds the extras. 10-7

15.00: NSW gets a scrum on the Bulls’ 5m, next to the sideline.

16.00: MASSIVE SCRUM! Lizo Gqoboka dominated Sekope Kepu, winning a penalty. Michael Hooper, the Tahs skipper, and Pollard are called over by referee Jaco Peyper for another off-the-ball incident. Pollard clears to near halfway.

18.00: TRY! Duane Vermeulen intercepts Phipps’ bullet-pass and races away to the NSW 22. Curtis Rona catches the number eight, but he is swatted away by Vermeulen like a fly before the big man dots down for his 10th Super Rugby try. 15-7

20.00: MISS! Pollard cannot add the two points. 15-7

23.00: NSW have possession on halfway, they go a couple of phases before Harry Johnson-Holmes falls foul of the referee.

24.00: Pollard calls for the tee. It will be about a 57-metre kick from just wide of the poles.

26.00: PENALTY! Pollard makes no mistake with the monster kick. 18-7

28.00: Lineout to the Tahs inside Bulls territory.

30.00: Cam Clark goes close, but he gives away a penalty – to the delight of Pollard – and the skipper clears.

33.00: It’s end-to-end in Pretoria. Specman gets back to save the day after an intelligent down-field kick by the tourists. However, the hosts concede a penalty, allowing Foley to kick to the corner.

35.00: The Bulls sack the maul far too easily. The visitors have to use the ball, but they don’t make good use of it. Hunt knocks on in contact with the try-line in sight. A let-off for Pote Human’s men.

37.00: A battle Royale is waging in the front rows; it’s the home team who are dominating, though.

39.00: Bulls have an attacking lineout inside the Waratahs’ 22.

40.00: A game of hot potato ends after the Bulls knock-on inside the strike zone. The hooter sounds but we will take the scrum.

41.00: A reset scrum leads to Foley launching the ball into the stands.

The halftime score was Bulls 18 Waratahs 7

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at a sunny Loftus. Hooper gives away an early penalty at the ruck, which will allow Pollard a shot at goal.

42.00: PENALTY! The Springbok flyhalf adds another three. 21-7

44.00: Another unforced error by the Sydney side, this time a wayward throw gives the ball back to their opponents.

47.00: Hooper’s counter-ruck does not impress the ref, who gives a harsh penalty to the home side.

48.00: MISS! Pollard’s kick sails wide; he should not miss those. 21-7

49.00: Good work by Fitzpatrick and Johnson-Holmes at the next ruck, this time it’s the Waratahs who get the rub of the ref’s whistle. Foley kicks deep into the Bulls’ 22.

51.00: TRY! Good scrum by the Waratahs, they go to Kurtley Beale, on the blindside. Beale steps inside the covering defenders before scoring his third try of the year. 21-12

53.00: CONVERSION! Foley makes no mistake. 21-14

57.00: MISS! Pollard has lost his radar; he’s left eight points on the field which might come back to haunt his side. 21-14

59.00: The Waratahs are chirpy for a team getting dominated at the scrum. Hooper cheers his men forward.

60.00: NO TRY! Some sloppy play by the Bulls inside the Waratahs’ 22 begins another counter by the Sydney men. They go through the hands, this way and that before the ball is shifted to Rona, who loses the ball forward as he tried to score in the corner. 21-14

62.00: BIG SCRUM! Another massive shove wins the home team a reprieve. Pollard clears.

63.00: Oh dear! The Bulls lose the maul, and possession, negating their pack’s early good work.

65.00: Andre Warner almost gets an intercept, but he loses the ball forward. Jake Gordon will feed a centre-field scrum.

66.00: TRY! A simple draw-and-pass pulls Sage out of position. Cornal Hendricks comes off his wing, but Rona steps inside and races away down the left-hand touchline. It’s the second score from first-phase play; both scrums. 21-19

68.00: CONVERSION! Foley levels. 21-all

70.00: TRY! Simphiwe Matanzima runs a great angle – from close range – and the 21-year-old crashes through the defence to put his side back on top. 26-21

71.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots the sideline kick. 28-21

75.00: The game will be won by whichever side has the better game-management.

76.00: Vermeulen wins a crucial turnover. Warner launches a bomb for Specman, but the Waratahs win the ball. Time is running out for the Aussies, now.

78.00: BIG MISTAKE by Rona. He knocks on a high pass, giving the South Africans a scrum, and time to run out the clock.

79.00: Scrum reset.

81.00: Warner launches the ball into the stands, ending the Bulls two-match losing run against NSW.


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The final score is Bulls 28 (18) Waratahs 21 (7)


Tries – Gelant, Vermeulen, Matanzima
Pen – Pollard (3)
Con – Pollard (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Phipps, Beale, Rona
Pen –
Con – Foley (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Christie du Preez



15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Dylan Sage, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie Jaco, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.


15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ned Hanigan, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Newsome.

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