Loftus Versfeld, where the home side did not lose a game last season, was in mourning last night as the Bulls recorded their second successive loss in front of their fans, going down 17-13 to the Hurricanes in their Vodacom SuperRugby match.
While last week’s defeat to the Stormers dinged the Bulls’ reputation as SuperRugby contenders, last night was nothing short of a car crash as they bumbled their way to another loss.
The Bulls will say decisions did not go their way and there’s no doubt incompetent Australian referee Andrew Lees or serial TMO offender Johan Greeff, who controversially denied a 77th-minute try by Grant Hattingh, will not be receiving invitations to any of their weddings.
But if the Bulls were a car, they would splutter to a halt every five minutes, and their shortcomings in attack mean they never do enough with the ball they have.
The Hurricanes, flooding the breakdown from all angles, were allowed to give the Bulls a torrid time in the rucks – the home side’s failure to arrive in time not helping – and were in charge at the scrums for three-quarters of the game.
The Bulls had no reward for their early time in the Hurricanes’ 22, the visitors instead leading 6-0 through two Beauden Barrett penalties up to the 29th minute.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard, the one threat with ball-in-hand for the Bulls, then kicked a penalty and sliced through for a try he converted to give them a 10-6 lead.
Two Barrett penalties either side of halftime put the Hurricanes back in front, before Pollard kicked a 52nd-minute penalty (13-12).
Wing Julian Savea scored the match-winning try in the 67th minute, breaking through two tackles from a tap penalty, but the Bulls spent the closing minutes on attack.
It would all end in tears for them, however, as Greeff ruled Hattingh had cut the touchline with his supporting hand while diving over to dot down.
Bulls – Try: Handre Pollard. Conversion: Pollard. Penalties: Pollard (2).
Hurricanes – Try: Julian Savea. Penalties: Beauden Barrett (4).