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Bulls build winning lead before dozing off

Date

David Legge

BULLS 40 CHEETAHS 24

Juandre Kruger of the Bulls skips clear of the Cheetahs' defence.

Juandre Kruger of the Bulls skips clear of the Cheetahs' defence. Photo: Getty Images

PRETORIA: The Bulls scored six tries and then switched off in a 40-24 Super Rugbyvictory over the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

MATCH STATS

A rout seemed on the cards when left-wing Bjorn Basson crossed for his ninth try of the season 18 minutes into the second half and fly-half Morne Steyn converted to put the three-time champions 40 points ahead.

Adding to the woes of the outplayed Cheetahs from central city Bloemfontein was that inside centre Andries Strauss had to spend another three minutes in the sin bin for retaliation.

But instead of surrendering, the mid-table Cheetahs finally exposed their claws to run in four tries for a bonus point and give the final scoreline far more respectability than seemed likely at one stage.

Bulls still got what they wanted -- a bonus-point victory that elevated them to fourth place and a guaranteed home quarter-final if they take nine points from the last fixtures against Coastal Sharks (away) and Golden Lions (home).

"It was important to get back on the horse after three consecutive defeats," said skipper and Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies. "We took our foot off the pedal in the second half but I am happy with the result."

Cheetahs captain and hooker Adriaan Strauss said the first half showing by his side which left them trailing 26-0 at half-time was "shocking" and "the worst performance of the season.

"We got our act together in the second half but by then it was too late to save the match. We must step up against Western Stormers next week and play two halves like the second half here."

After the Springbok-saturated Bulls dominated all phases for the opening 40 minutes, the second half often resembled sevens rugby with each side flinging the ball about and there were plenty of tries as poor defending was exposed.

Steyn -- under public and media fire after missing 12 of 22 goal kicks in the 2-0 Test series win over England this month -- landed five of six conversions attempts and the other rebounded off the far post.

His 10 points took him to 203 for the Super 15 season in what looks like a two-man race with Waikato Chiefs and All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden (198) to finish leading points scorer.

Spies, loose-head prop Dean Greyling, full-back Zane Kirchner, at times cumbersome scrum-half Francois Hougaard, tight-head prop Werner Kruger and Basson crossed the try-line for the Bulls.

Edinburgh-bound tight-head WP Nel bagged two tries for Cheetahs and full-back Willie le Roux and discarded Springbok flank Heinrich Brussow one each with replacement fly-half Sias Ebersohn kicking two conversions.

BULLS 40 (Bjorn Basson, Dean Greyling, Francois Hougaard, Zane Kirchner, Werner Kruger, Pierre Spies tries Morne Steyn 5 cons) bt CHEETAHS 24 (WP Nel 2, Heinrich Brussow, Willie Le Roux tries Sias Ebersohn 2 cons) at Loftus Versfeld. Referee: Marius Jonker.

AFP

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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