Vodacom Bulls Win Brutal Battle Against Exeter Chiefs


Vodacom Bulls ended as deserved 39-21 winners over Exeter Chiefs after a brutal battle of 80 minutes. The Vodacom Bulls scored two quick tries early in the second half to seal the win.

Exeter Chiefs pinned the Vodacom Bulls in their own half, playing typical Vodacom Bulls rugby. The Vodacom Bulls were the first to score when they entered Exeter Chiefs 22m for the first time in the match. Unfortunately for the Vodacom Bulls, a primary school's error on the defence allowed Exeter Chiefs in for an easy try to level the score 07-07. This was also the score at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, both teams used their big forwards to attack, trying to dominate physically. The Vodacom Bulls scored two tries to the one of Exeter Chiefs opening up a 20-14 lead with 40 minutes to play. At this stage, there are no clear favourites although Exeter Chiefs were the more structured side while the Vodacom Bulls were extremely dangerous from broken play.

A definite momentum shift was evident in the third quarter as the Vodacom Bulls took control of the match. Two quick tries during a ten-minute blitzkrieg gave the Vodacom Bulls their bonus point and extended their lead to 32-14 with 20 minutes of play left.

Exeter Chiefs came back in the last quarter and scored two tries against one of the Vodacom Bulls. However, the Vodacom Bulls were the deserved winners after a brutal 80 minutes of rugby with 39-28.

Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Elrigh Louw, David Kriel, Ruan Vermaak, Wandisile Simelane (2), Johann Grobbelaar. Conversions: Chris Smith (2), Johan Goosen. Penalty: Chris Smith.
Exeter Chiefs: Tries: Josh Hodge, Solomone Kata, Jannes Kirsten, Jack Innard. Conversions: Joe Simmonds (2), Harvey Skinner (2).

How it happened.

14:49 Elrigh Louw scored the Vodacom Bulls' first try of the match. The Vodacom Bulls took a quick tap from a penalty with Louw Forcing his way over the tryline. (07-00)
18:09 Josh Hodge cuts through the defence of the Vodacom Bulls to score an easy try from 30m out. An attempted intercept led to the gap. (07-07)
22:43 Chris Smith converted a penalty for the Vodacom Bulls. (10-07)
24:14 David Kriel scored the Vodacom Bulls' second try after a brilliant turnover by Bismarck du Plessis in his half. (15-07)
32:20 Solomone Kata scored Exeter Chiefs' second try from the back of a 5m lineout-maul. (15-14)
36:58 Ruan Vermaak scored the Vodacom Bulls' third try following a tap from a penalty. (20-14)
42:40 A comedy of errors gave Wandisile Simelane the opportunity to control a bouncing ball to score the Vodacom Bulls bonus point try. (27-14)
51:24 Johann Grobbelaar scored a try for the Vodacom Bulls from the back of a 5m lineout-ball (32-14)
54:05 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs) was sent off with a red card.
64:08 Jannes Kirsten scored Exeter Chiefs' third try. Exeter Chiefs used their forwards to launch attack after attack until Kirsten forced his way over the tryline in the corner. (32-21)
70:09 Wandisile Simelane intercepted a loose pass to run 50m plus for his second try. (39-21)
79:34 Jack Innard forced his way over the Vodacom Bulls' tryline for Exeter Chiefs' bonus point try. (29-28)


Vodacom Bulls: 15. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14. Canan Moodie, 13. Wandisile Simelane, 12. Harold Vorster, 11. David Kriel, 10. Chris Smith, 9. Zak Burger, 8. Elrigh Louw, 7. Nizaam Carr, 6. Marco van Staden, 5. Ruan Nortje (c), 4. Ruan Vermaak, 3. Mornay Smith, 2. Johann Grobbelaar, 1. Gerard Steenekamp. Replacements: 16. Bismarck Du Plessis, 17. Dylan Smith, 18. Francois Klopper, 19. Janko Swanepoel, 20. WJ Steenkamp, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Johan Goosen, 23 Lionel Mapoe.

Exeter Chiefs: 15. Josh Hodge, 14. Jack Nowell, 13. Henry Slade (c), 12. Solomone Kata, 11. Olly Woodburn, 10. Joe Simmonds, 9. Sam Maunder, 8. Sam Simmonds, 7. Christ Tshiunza, 6. Dave Ewers, 5. Dafydd Jenkins, 4. Jack Dunne, 3. Harry Williams, 2. Jack Innard, 1. Scott Sio. Replacements: 16. Jack Yeandle, 17. James Kenny, 18. Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19. Jannes Kirsten, 20. Greg Fisilau, 21. Jack Maunder, 22. Harvey Skinner, 23. Rory O’Loughlin.