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Ken Borland

Bulls looked set for old domestics dominance, but Griquas refused to be subservient

Posted on June 07, 2022 by Ken

The Bulls, with numerous URC players in their squad, looked set to impose their old dominance of domestics rugby with a commanding first half against Griquas in their Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening, but the visitors refused to accept a subservient role and nearly overthrew the form book in the second half.

The Bulls, having led 36-5 at halftime, eventually won 48-38 but Griquas were clearly the better team in the second half as they outscored the defending champions 33-12 in the second forty.

Tempo the chief difference for the Bulls

The Bulls’ experience of playing against European opposition in the URC served them well in the first half as Griquas just could not cope with the pace and intensity of the game. The visitors were properly dominated as the Bulls ran in six tries to roar into a commanding lead at halftime.

It was clinical from the Bulls as just about every pass stuck, the forwards gave them a wonderful platform and they played with quite some adventure.

Yellow cards lethal for Bulls & momentum for Griquas

The Bulls picked up where they left off in the early stages of the second half as a rolling maul try for hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels took their lead to 41-5. But then two yellow cards – for prop Lizo Gqoboka, for collapsing a maul, and wing Madosh Tambwe, for a deliberate knock-on – in the space of three minutes were a massive blow for the Bulls. Playing against 13 men provided momentum and confidence for Griquas and they played tremendously well to provide a proper, competitive match for the crowd.

Tambwe’s sale price should go up

Wing Madosh Tambwe’s move to Europe has now been confirmed, but the new Loftus Versfeld star would have impressed his future employers with a dazzling first-half display. He started with a crunching tackle in defence, made excellent takes in the air and he looked lethal every time he ran with the ball. He would pop up all over the backline with an injection of raw pace, a perfectly-timed pass to wing Stravino Jacobs setting up the opening try in the third minute. His power game was also on display and he also set up the last try of the first half, by fullback Canan Moodie, by bumping off a couple of tackles and then breaking through the defensive line.

Griquas show they should not be underestimated

Scoring six tries gave Griquas a bonus point, keeping them in the top four on the log and maintaining their semi-final challenge. One of the premises of being in the semi-finals is that you are a highly competitive side and Griquas showed in the second half that they certainly belong.

Flank Hanru Sirgel led the way with two barnstorming tries as the Griquas pack began bossing affairs.


Bulls: Tries – Stravino Jacobs (2), Cyle Brink, Reinhardt Ludwig, Canan Moodie, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Harold Vorster. Conversions – Chris Smith (5). Penalty – Smith.

Griquas: Tries – Sango Xamlashe, penalty try, Munier Hartzenberg, Hanru Sirgel (2). Christopher Hollis. Conversions – Zander du Plessis (3).

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