Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

URC result: Bulls outplay Lions to move temporarily top of log

The bonus point win moved the Bulls temporarily to the top of the URC log ahead of other games this weekend.

The Bulls lifted themselves temporarily to the top of the United Rugby Championship (URC) standings after they outplayed the Lions 25-10, securing a bonus point win in an error strewn affair at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was a largely forgettable match, with the visitors leading 5-3 at halftime after a scrappy first half, while they only led 10-3 after 60 minutes, before a flurry of action in the final quarter saw three more tries scored between the two sides.

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At the start of the match the Lions got off on the front foot with a penalty straight from the kick-off for blocking seeing flyhalf Sanele Nohamba put the hosts 3-0.

In the sixth minute another penalty in the Bulls 22m saw Nohamba go at goal from an angle but he pushed the kick wide.

Early penalties

Despite the early penalties for the Lions, neither side could really impose themselves on the game due to a very scrappy opening  quarter, with both teams making numerous handling errors.

The Bulls then scored the opening try of the game out of nothing in the 21st minute.

From a scrum just in their own half scrumhalf Embrose Papier beat a player and sniped down the blindside, breaking to the 22m where he offloaded to wing Canan Moodie, who was tracked down by a superb cover tackle from centre Henco van Wyk, but was not held and could get up and dive over to score.

Flyhalf Jaco van der Walt missed the conversion leaving the visitors 5-3 up.

The rest of the half was a drab affair as the scrappiness of the contest continued, neither side gaining the upper hand, until the halftime hooter when Van Der Walt attempted a penalty from the halfway but saw it drift wide.

Six minutes into the second half the Liosn received a penalty just in the Bulls half in front, with Nohamba stepping up and slamming his penalty off the uprights as the visitors survived.

The Lions then thought they were in for their first try in the 49th minute, but the final pass from Nohamba to wing Richard Kriel was ruled forward by the TMO with the score chalked off.

Further ahead

This allowed the Bulls to go further ahead in the 51st minute as they attacked into the Lions half, and kicked a penalty deep into the 22m.

They setup the maul from the lineout and rumbled over for replacement hooker Akker van der Merwe to dot down, while replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen missed the conversion to leave the score 10-3.

Goosen was however on target with a 61st minute penalty in front just off the Lions 22m after the hosts went offside, moving them 13-3 ahead.

The Bulls essentially the game as a contest in the 68th minute when they kicked a penalty into the Lions 22m and attacked off the lineout, getting close where flank Marco van Staden dived over to score the converted try, putting them into a comfortable 20-3 lead.

With time running out the Lions struck straight back, as a chip into the Bulls 22m saw their defence panic, with the ball knocked back over the tryline where fullback Quan Horn was quickest to dot it down, with replacement flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse converting.

But the Bulls had the final say in the 75th minute as they attacked into the Lions half, inside centre David Kriel chipped into the 22m and chased up to dot down their bonus point score to seal the win.


Lions: Try – Quan Horn; Conversion – Jordan Hendrikse; Penalty – Sanele Nohamba

Bulls: Tries – Canan Moodie, Akker van der Merwe, Marco van Staden, David Kriel; Conversion – Johan Goosen; Penalty – Goosen