BLOEMFONTEIN – The Blue Bulls scored 10 tries as they claimed a resounding 64-36 bonus-point Currie Cup win over the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
After three successive losses heading into this clash, it’s the perfect result for the Bulls, while it reignites their playoff hopes at the business end of the competition.
The Bulls were full of running early on, and after turning down two shots at goal, scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl took a quick tap and darted over to score in the 10th minute after the visitors had earned a scrum penalty in the red zone.
With the home side missing far too many first-time tackles, the Bulls struck again when Burger Odendaal was put away to score next, while Cheetahs captain Chris Dry was then shown a yellow card after repeated team infringements soon after.
In his absence, though, the Cheetahs actually outscored the Bulls 10-5, with Lloyd Greeff and Odendaal trading tries, while Petzer slotted a penalty just before the half-hour mark.
However, the Bulls continued to embrace some eye-catching ball-in-hand play, with Warrick Gelant going over for his team’s bonus-point try; although it would be the Cheetahs that had the final say of the half when Daniel Maartens dotted down twice before the break.
It meant just four points separated the sides at the break, but Odendaal went over for a simple try soon after the restart to restore a handy 12-point buffer for the Bulls.
Yet, Maartens continued to match Odendaal blow for blow as he went over for his hat-trick try in the 49th minute.
Duncan Matthews went over for the Bulls’ sixth try soon after, though, which saw the Pretoria-based side establish a 38-29 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Bulls finally took control of proceedings as Johan Grobbelaar and Tim Agaba went over to score, and although Stephan Janse van Rensburg did dot down for the Cheetahs’ fifth try, it was always going to be a mere consolation.
As it is, Gelant scored twice before the final whistle to ensure the Bulls came away with a most emphatic result.
Free State Cheetahs 36 – Tries: Lloyd Greeff, Daniel Maartens (3), Stephan Janse van Rensburg. Conversions: Robbie Petzer (3), JP Smith (1). Penalty: Petzer (1).
Blue Bulls 64 – Tries: Ivan van Zyl, Burger Odendaal (3), Warrick Gelant (3), Duncan Matthews, Johan Grobbelaar, Tim Agaba. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (6), Tony Jantjies (1).
African News Agency (ANA)