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Ken Borland


Not many pleasing attacking shapes, but no denying Bulls’ efficiency

Posted on May 31, 2022 by Ken

The Bulls may not have displayed many pleasing attacking shapes, but there was no denying the efficiency of their brute strength as they overpowered Glasgow Warriors 29-17 in their United Rugby Championship match at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

Their dominance only really came through in the last 50 minutes though, with Glasgow only able to add to the try and penalty they scored in the first 20 minutes when there were five minutes left in the match. Despite their best efforts to slow the game down through spoiling tactics and continual breaks for ‘injury’ attention, the visitors were still sluggish and tentative when it came to trying to stop the Bulls’ charge once it gained momentum.

But despite the stop/start nature of the game in the first half, the Bulls were also to blame for their lack of momentum because they had precious little rhythm on attack.

The home side knew they were in for a tough evening as Glasgow were awarded a penalty try (and a yellow card to Elrigh Louw) in the fifth minute, after the Bulls had made a mess of defending a five-metre lineout maul, and then a penalty by Warriors flyhalf Duncan Weir.

The Bulls replied though with a try when lock Ruan Nortje darted just short of the line and scrumhalf Zak Burger completed the touchdown, and a Morne Steyn penalty drew them level after 28 minutes.

And they never looked back, helped by a crucial try after the halftime whistle when Louw charged around the back of a lineout and created the space for wing Madosh Tambwe to score out wide.

Two massive mauls which ran the Warriors back into their 22 and a powerful charge by lock Walt Steenkamp added a third try in the 58th minute, and the bonus point was in the bag after 62 minutes as livewire hooker Johan Grobbelaar won a turnover penalty and replacement flank Cyle Brink forced his way over after a series of pick-and-goes by the forwards off the lineout.

That put the Bulls into a commanding 29-10 lead and they were perhaps guilty of losing concentration a bit in the last 10 minutes, and Glasgow duly punished them with a try when fullback Ollie Smith knifed through midfield.

Scorers

BullsTries: Zak Burger, Madosh Tambwe, Walt Steenkamp, Cyle Brink. Conversions: Morne Steyn (3). Penalty: Steyn.

Glasgow WarriorsTries: Penalty try, Ollie Smith. Conversion: Ross Thompson. Penalty: Duncan Weir.

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