JOHANNESBURG – It may still be early days, but a clean sweep of the South African franchises suggests something special is brewing with the Bulls in this year’s Super Rugby competition.
The Bulls claimed their third comprehensive victory over a South African team when they dismantled the Sharks 37-14 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The Bulls targeted a 100% winning record going into their first bye-weekend of the season, but three out of four is nothing to sneeze at.
The Pretoria side has been exceptional in the opening month of the tournament, with the Jaguares defeat in the second round the only rotten patch in an otherwise stellar start to their campaign.
Coach Pote Human has every reason to be delighted with his charges as they continue to numb the opposition with near-faultless displays.
“It is a dream start for us, unfortunately against the Jaguares we couldn’t put one over them,” Human said.
“We have a break now, then we come back and work for the next four before the next break.”
The Bulls built an innings thanks to the metronomic boot of Handre Pollard, who produced yet another faultless display in his 50th Super Rugby match.
He built scoreboard pressure with his pin-point accurate goal kicking, with the Bulls going into the half-time break with a 19-0 lead.
The hosts allowed the Sharks back into the game, but the Bulls kept their cool, scoring three tries to two, with Pollard contributing 22 points as he converted all but one of the tries, nailed five penalties and added a drop goal for good measure.
“Today we started well, we had a clinical game in the first half and we let them back in the second half putting pressure on ourselves,” Human said. “I felt at times that we were panicking but we need that too because we fight it out and then score a try to seal it.
“It is something we can work on, but I am happy with the three wins against the South African franchises,” he said.
When asked whether the lack of bonus points would come back to haunt them, Human said their first goal was to win matches and to ensure that they gained positive momentum.
"We just need to win first, then the bonus points will come,” Human said. “At this stage, we just need momentum because we know what happened with the Bulls in previous years where we had a good start and then everything fell apart.
“The Chiefs are the next opponent in two weeks’ time and we will prepare for them now.”
Bulls: Tries: Jesse Kriel, Rosko Specman (2). Conversions: Handre Pollard (2). Penalties: Pollard (5). Drop goal: Pollard
Sharks: Tries: Jeremy Ward, Daniel du Preez. Conversions: Robert du Preez (2).@ockertde