Sport / Rugby

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
16 Feb 2019
7:42 pm

Specmagic inspires Bulls as they rubbish Stormers

Heinz Schenk

The Blitzboks legend immediately sparks as the men from Loftus exploit their woeful opponents.

Rosko Specman of the Vodacom Bulls on attack during the Super Rugby match between Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on February 16, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)

It’s only the first week of the new Super Rugby season, but the Loftus faithful will be hopeful that their own version of the running of the Bulls is back.

Pote Human’s well-drilled and inventive charges were outstanding in emphatically bossing Saturday’s north-south derby against the Stormers, winning handsomely by 40-3.

It was a performance brimming with excellent individual performances, but there’s little doubt that Rosko Specman provided the most thrilling moments of the match.

The former Blitzboks star – whose Twitter handle is memorably named ‘speckmagic11’- scored a brace of tries and immediately looked at home at this level.

More importantly, the Bulls seemed to feed on his influence.

Kick-off had been delayed by 20 minutes after the Stormers were left stuck on the N1 following a overturned truck just after Oliftansfontein and it seems they were still stuck there as they simply didn’t turn up for this game mentally.

Who was the star in this match?

Specman was brilliant, while Jesse Kriel also showed his pedigree with a wonderfully varied performance. But the evergreen Duane Vermeulen has already shown why he’s the Bulls’ marquee signing. He ran 66m from nine carries, he made seven tackles, won a turnover and four lineouts. Most pertinently, his physicality in the collisions brought the Bulls’ momentum on attack. World class.

Key moments and themes

  • Following an edgy start, the Bulls were sparked to life from a turnover, where Specman hung on to a poor pass and then sliced his way inside Dillyn Leyds and Wilco Louw for a spectacular opening try. It’s exactly the type of incisive contribution a fifteens team wants from a sevens star.
  • Specman was at it again 15 minutes later, fed brilliantly by a canny inside pass from the impressive Warrick Gelant as he ghosted again through a gap. He looked set for a hat-trick early in the second half from a spilled Stormers ball, but there was a Bulls hand involved too.
  • The Bulls might’ve shown some delightful variation on attack, especially in Johnny Kotze and Jesse Kriel’s tries from set moves, but the key to this victory was their fundamentals. There was a definite intention to play a kicking game when appropriate, while their defence was transformed from last year’s leaky mess.
  • The Stormers were simply woeful in this game, with precious little aspects to redeem this performance. They lost Siya Kolisi early through concussion and gave themselves no platform to work from with a litany of vital handling errors as well as shocking showing in the lineouts, where they lost no less than five set-pieces. Was it just the traffic or did the politics at WP get to them?

Bulls – Tries: Rosko Specman (2), Johnny Kotze, Jesse Kriel. Conversions: Handre Pollard (4). Penalties: Pollard (4)

Stormers – Penalty: SP Marais.

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