Griquas Brilliant In 23-30 Loss Against Toothless Bulls

Photo Credit: Gallo Images

The Vodacom Bulls hosted the Tafel Lager Griquas in the last match of the opening round of the Super Rugby Unlocked competition at Loftus Versfeld and was made to work hard for a 30-23 win.

The first 10 minutes was a close battle between the two teams and although the Bulls did enjoy territorial advantage it was the Griquas who won several small battles when they denied the Bulls several try-scoring opportunities. With 20 minutes left of the first half, it was the Griquas who lead 3-0.

The Griquas' control of the game continued to become more evident as the first half continued and a try that was scored from constructive play by the Griquas which saw their lead increase to 10-0. 

A converted penalty and a try in the final seconds of the first half by the Bulls resulted in the teams going into halftime level at 10-10. Although the Griquas had the upper-hand for most of the first half the last scrum of the first half was dominated by the Bulls which indicated problems for the Griquas in the second half.

The Bulls were guilty in the first half of aimless passing with no obvious gameplan to attack the quality defence from the Griquas.

The Bulls started the second half with a new set of jerseys but it was the Griquas who continued their great form. The Griquas scored the first try on the second half after a mistake by the Bulls.

The Bulls was awarded a penalty try after their dominance in the scrums continued to grow. The penalty try had the Bulls reduce the Griquas lead to 18-17 and 24 minutes to go.

A converted penalty by Morne Steyn gave the Bulls the lead for the first time of the match with 20-18. The Bulls reverted back to the old "Blou Bulle" gameplan at that stage and was only interested to kick for territory, praying for mistakes by their opponents.

With 5 minutes to go the score was 30-23 for the Bulls who can count them lucky to win this one.

A struggling Griquas travelled to Pretoria to play a "brilliant new" Bulls team. Griquas will travel back to Kimberley smiling after a 23-30 loss knowing they could have won.

The Bulls were their worst enemy with only their scrum performing as expected. The Bulls lost the battle in the loose with 6-12 turnovers as their loosies preferred to run with the ball neglecting their basic tasks. The attack from the back was without any imagination or intent.

Scorers:

Griquas: Try: Anthony Volmink, James Verity-Amm (2). Conversion: George Whitehead. Penalty: George Whitehead (2)

Vodacom Bulls: Try: Ruan Nortje, Penalty try, Arno Botha. Conversion: Morne Steyn (2). Penalty: Morne Steyn (3)

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Travis Ismaiel, 13. Stedman Gans, 12. Cornal Hendricks, 11. David Kriel, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 8. Tim Agaba, 7. Arno Botha (C), 6. Marco van Staden, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Jason Jenkins, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Corniel Els, 1. Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar, 17. Lizo Gqoboka, 18. Mornay Smith, 19. Sintu Manjezi, 20. Elrigh Louw, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Chris Smith, 23. Marco Jansen van Vuren

Griquas : 1. Mox Mxoli, 2. HJ Luus, 3. John-Roy Jenkinson, 4. Ian Groenewald, 5. Victor Sekekete, 6. Carl Els, 7. Stefan Willemse, 8. Niell Jordaan, 9. Zak Burger, 10. George Whitehead, 11. James Verity-Amm, 12. Andre Swarts, 13. Harlon Klaasen, 14. Daniel Kasende, 15. Anthony Volmink. Replacements: 16. Alandre van Rooyen, 17. Bandisa Ndlovu, 18. Madot Mabokela, 19. Adre Smith, 20. Zandre Jordaan, 21. Gideon van der Merwe, 22. Ashlon Davids, 23. Berton Klaasen, 24. Mzwanele Zito, 25. Johan Momsen, 26. Bjorn Basson.