Hertford Highlander

Match Report – ‘Red’ Bulls regain form to crush Chiefs


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, Bulls, In the news, Super Rugby on 1 May 2011 at 07:28
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

David Legge writes on Rugby Heaven a change of strip colour brought a change of fortune for Super Rugby defending champions the Bulls on Saturday as they scored 40 unanswered points en route to a 43-27 triumph over the Chiefs.

The South Africans wore the red of their mobile phone sponsors rather than the traditional blue as they bounced back to earn a bonus-point victory after three consecutive losses in Australasia.

“Red works but we will be back to blue for our next match,” said Bulls lock and captain Victor Matfield after his team kept alive a slim chance of a top-six finish and a play-offs place.

“This was a make-or-break game for us. We were under pressure after those losses on tour had disappointed our supporters. It was great to see our forwards driving as of old and backs like Wynand Olivier scoring tries again.”

Iconic Springbok Matfield warned before the kick-off in perfect autumn conditions that a sixth loss in 10 matches would end any hopes the three-time champions had of retaining the southern hemisphere championship.

His warning was not heeded in the early stages at Loftus Versfeld as missed tackles and handling errors contributed to the Bulls falling 20-3 behind against the New Zealanders eight minutes before half-time.

But the Chiefs slipped in the closing minutes of the half, allowing Olivier to score his first try of the season and a conversion and penalty from fly-half Morne Steyn cut the gap to seven points at half-time.

A half-full stadium witnessed the Bulls of old from the second half kick-off as they dominated possession and centre Olivier, wing Gerhard van den Heever and number eight Pierre Spies crossed for tries in an eight-minute blitz.

Springbok Steyn was back to his goal kicking best, planting conversions and penalty kicks between the posts from various angles and distances and succeeding with all eight shots at goal.

Number eight Fritz Lee scored a third try for the Chiefs to end a 39-minute point-less spell for the shattered visitors, but they could not get another one that would have secured a bonus point.

Steyn converted the tries of Olivier (two), Van den Heever and Spies, kicked four penalties and slotted the drop goal that gave the Bulls an early lead before Chiefs took control for most of the first half.

All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina, scrum-half Brendon Leonard and Lee scored tries that Stephen Donald converted and the fly-half also succeeded with two penalty attempts for a 100 percent goal-kicking record.

BULLS 43 (Wynand Olivier 2, Stephan Dippenaar, Pierre Spies tries Morne Steyn 4 cons 4 pens drop goal) bt CHIEFS 27 (Fritz Lee, Brendon Leonard, Mils Muliaina tries Stephen Donald 3 cons 2 pens) at Loftus Versfeld.

Referee: Craig Joubert.



3 Comments

  • Good performance from the Bulls..

    Good to see our South African flyhalf incumbent playing well and kicking like we know he can!

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.05.11 07:48:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 1) : There’s no doubt that Morne’s a machine when his kicking boots are on. He just has the same effect on me that Pete Sampras had… bores me to numbness… :smile:

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.05.11 13:24:59 by SharonvanWyk Reply
    Author
    ShazCurrie Cup player
     
  • 2nd half the Bulls seemed to start hitting their straps.

    Thankfully we’ve already visited Loftus this year.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.05.11 13:28:53 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     

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