PRETORIA – Bonus points in the Currie Cup are like diamonds, they are precious.
And it was a diamond standard 45-40 win for the Blue Bulls against Griquas in Kimberley that kept their Currie Cup play-off chances alive.
But the win didn’t come easy for the men from the capital as they had to overcome a resilient and determined Griquas side who had threatened to steal the game at the death.
Fortunately, for the Bulls much of the work required for the bonus point had come in the first half when they ran in their fourth try in the 26th minute through centre JT Jackson and they completed their come-from-behind seven try rout midway through the second half to ensure themselves victory.
The win elevated the Bulls to third spot on the log with 12 points and even though they have played one more game than all the other teams in the competition, they just need to beat the Pumas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday to all but guarantee their place in the semi-finals.
Bulls coach Pote Human was obviously delighted with their return to winning ways with the gem of a win but lamented his team’s discipline which reared its ugly head again and almost cost them the game.
Having taken a 28-7 lead half an hour into the game, the Bulls allowed Griquas back into the game through ill-discipline which included giving away a penalty try and conceding a yellow card for wing Duncan Matthews moments before the half-time interval.
The poor discipline continued into the second half when hooker Jaco Visagie was also given 10 minutes in the sin bin for a deliberate knock down and in the process the Bulls conceded two more tries which handed Griquas the lead.
“I’m glad for the five points because you never get away from Kimberley easily with five points,” said Human.
“But you can’t defend penalties and it is a big concern for me at this stage. The first two games our discipline has been excellent but against Griquas and the Golden Lions it is a real concern but we’ll work on that this week.”
The Bulls will take a lot of confidence from the win in Kimberley which arrested a two match losing streak and they will also want to build on the good work they did in the scrums and lineouts ahead of the crucial encounter against the Pumas.
“The fight, I really thought our guys fought well. Our set-pieces were very good. Our defence at times was very good especially if you look at the last 10 minutes when we gave away one try,” Human said.
There will be concern at Loftus over the head injury to Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane who was stretched off in the 17th minute while captain Hanro Liebenberg was a late withdrawal from the game due to illness.