Vodacom Bulls Sneak Into Currie Cup Semi-finals After Loss To Toyota Cheetahs


The Toyota Cheetahs beat the Vodacom Bulls 31-27 in Pretoria on Saturday. However, the Vodacom Bulls will feel they won this close encounter as they collected two bonus points to end fourth on the Currie Cup log, securing the 4th place on the Currie Cup log and qualifying for a semi-final.

The Vodacom Bulls had a dream start to the match scoring three unanswered tries to take an early 19-00 lead. However, the Toyota Cheetahs clawed their way back helped by the poor defence of the home team and trailed 14-19 after forty minutes of play. The Toyota Cheetahs dominated the second half against a Vodacom Bulls team whose defence was once again not up to standard.

The Vodacom Bulls started their physical domination early on with Cornal Hendricks going over in the corner to take an early 05-00 lead after just five minutes of play. Two minutes later David Kriel pounced on a spilled ball to send Harold Vorster away for an easy try.

The defence of the Vodacom Bulls kept on giving them more than enough opportunities to attack. Embrose Papier scored the Vodacom Bulls' third try following some great handling and interplay by the host. The Vodacom Bulls led 19-00 after just fifteen minutes of play.

The Toyota Cheetahs got their hands on quality ball and David Brits powered his way over the tryline of the Vodacom Bulls. Great work by the ever-improving Toyota Cheetahs' backline open up space out wide when Daniel Kasende scored in the corner. The Vodacom Bulls led 19-14 with five minutes still to play in the first half.

Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls) was red-carded following a dangerous shoulder charge with three minutes left to play in the first half. The Vodacom Bulls led 19-14 going into the second half..

Siya Masuku scored the Toyota Cheetahs' third try, cutting through the defence of the hosts for an "easy" try to make this a one-point game after just four minutes of play in the second half. Minutes later Rewan Kruger scored the Toyota Cheetahs' fourth and bonus point try to take a 28-22 lead for the first time of the match.

Cornal Hendricks controlled a grubber by Chris Smith to score the Vodacom Bulls bonus point try to trail 28-27 with seventeen minutes left to play. A converted penalty by Sibabalo Masuke extended the Toyota Cheetahs' lead to 31-27 with eight minutes left to play.

The Vodacom Bulls threw everything they had left in the tank during the final ten minutes but could not score that elusive fifth try.

Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Cornal Hendricks (2), Harold Vorster, Embrose Papier. Conversion: Morne Steyn (2). Penalty: Chris Smith.
Toyota Cheetahs: Tries: David Brits, Daniel Kasende, Sibabalo Masuku, Rewan Kruger. Conversions: Sibabalo Masuku (4). Penalty: Sibabalo Masuku.


Vodacom Bulls: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 David Kriel, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marcell Coetzee (c), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16 Simphiwe Matanzima, 17 Bismarck du Plessis, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Wandisile Simelane.

Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Sibabalo Masuku, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (c), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jeandre Rudolph, 20 George Cronje, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Zinedine Booysen, 23 Robert Ebersohn.