PRETORIA – The Chiefs were relentless in their 56-20 dismantling of an off-colour Bulls team during their Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon in Pretoria.
Fans of the Bulls will do well to find any positives from this clash as they watched their side surrender territorial and possession advantage early on. The previously winless visitors gleefully took their opportunity to attack from deep almost at will.
It may have taken the Bulls some time to concede their first try when wing Solomon Alaimalo dotted down in the 24th minute, but they were accustomed to reassembling under their poles throughout the remainder of the half as Alex Nankivell and Brodie Retallick added to the Chiefs tally.
To add to their woes, influential forward Duane Vermeulen was withdrawn suffering with a knee strain. The boot of Damian McKenzie continued to pile on the pain as the Bulls slumped down the tunnel 18 points down with little hope of a way back into the contest.
The second half continued in the same vain as Retallick got his second before a lovely chip in behind from McKenzie saw Nankivell bag another try.
The Bulls took all of 64 minutes to secure their first try as Jesse Kriel did well to collect Handre Pollard’s chip over the Chiefs defence.
With a healthy lead and bonus point secured, the Chiefs were content to run down the clock as they repelled any rare Bulls attack before launching the ball deep into opposition territory.
In the 73rd minute, Retallick unselfishly offloaded to substitute Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi when the burly lock’s hattrick was within touching distance. Just minutes later, McKenzie duly knocked over that conversion and then sent his side over the 50-point mark with his third penalty of the afternoon.
The few Bulls fans left in the stadium found a rare moment of cheer as Burger Odendaal ghosted through the Chiefs defence for a consolation try with two minutes remaining.
Alaimalo, though, was not done as he added his name once again to the scorer's list for the Chiefs' seventh try.
Scorers: Bulls 20 (6) Tries: Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal. Conversions: Handre Pollard (2). Penalties: Handre Pollard
Chiefs 56 (24) Tries: Solomon Alaimalo (2), Alex Nankivell (2), Brodie Retallick (2), Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi. Conversions: Damian McKenzie (6). Penalties: Damian McKenzie (3).
Africa News Agency (ANA)