MELBOURNE – The Bulls moved back to the top of the South African conference with an important 32-17 Super Rugby win over the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.
This was an especially important result for the Bulls following the Jaguares' upset win over the Hurricanes in the first game of round 14, but the Pretoria-based side bounced right back to move into pole position based on points difference.
The Waratahs started this clash with real intent and held play through multiple phases, before finally striking through a try to Marika Koroibete. However, the Bulls did superbly to strike back with virtually their first two opportunities, which saw Cornal Hendricks and Handre Pollard go over for tries.
Yet, in a contest where the momentum continued to shift one way and then the next, Will Genia was next to score after the Rebels opportunistically capitalised on an error from the Bulls.
However, it would be that man, Pollard, who slotted a penalty with the last play of the half to hand his side a rather fortunate 17-12 lead at the break.
Having made so much of the play in the first half, the Rebels looked set to take control of proceedings when Koroibete scored soon after the restart, but again the Bulls hit straight back as Burger Odendaal was put through to score under the posts.
The visitors then seized full control of the clash when Rosko Specman superbly finished off a try in the corner, opening up a 12-point buffer heading into the final 10 minutes.
From there, the Bulls held out for an impressive victory after Pollard had slotted one more penalty for good measure.
Rebels v Bulls | Super Rugby 2019 Rd 14 Highlights— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) May 17, 2019
Rosko Speckman inspired the @BlueBullsRugby to their first win outside South Africa in three years, scoring one try and setting up another to lead his team past the @MelbourneRebels 32-17 in Melbourne.#SuperRugby #REBvBUL pic.twitter.com/nrBxPo7S6d
Rebels 17 (12): Tries: Marika Koroibete (2), Will Genia. Conversion: Quade Cooper.
Bulls 32 (17): Tries: Cornal Hendricks, Handré Pollard, Burger Odendaal, Rosko Specman. Conversions: Handré Pollard (3). Penalties: Pollard (2).
African News Agency (ANA)