Bulls shake off sluggish start to win Currie Cup opener

2012-08-11 07:28

Blue Bulls (9) 35
Griquas (13) 20

Pine Pienaar’s Blue Bulls had more ambition and were the clinical side in last night’s Currie Cup opener.

They were saved by Louis Fouche’s boot, which fetched his side 25 points through countless Griquas transgressions, especially at the breakdown.

With better sides like the Sharks and Western Province waiting later in the tournament, they will need to shape up.

The Bulls had the better of the early exchanges and Fouche, who had precious little action in the Super Rugby tournament, tried his luck from 50m.

It was the Griquas, through Bulls reject Francois Brummer, who drew first blood in the fourth minute.

Playing against a hungry side like the Griquas requires patience and discipline.

The latter the Bulls had in oodles, but patience was in short supply.

When they had to run, they kicked and when they had to kick, they kicked.

However, one of their aimless kicks found that twinkle-toed fullback in Willie le Roux, whose excellent interplay with Rocco Jansen shredded the Bulls defence, with Jansen completing the move.

Fouche made sure the hosts were always within touching distance, but they could not ram home a numerical advantage when Le Roux was carded for a tip tackle on Jurgen Visser in the 21st minute.

The impressive Arno Botha, who bossed the fringes with powerful runs, provided the impetus for Akona Ndungane’s try just after the restart.

While the Griquas played matador in running the hosts around the park, sheer weight and tactical ineptness at the breakdown was used to perfection by the Bulls.

Aside from a call not to give Dewald Potgieter a yellow card for a shoulder charge on opposition scrumhalf Jacques Coetzee, who punched well above his weight, referee Rasta Rashivenge had an excellent game.

One of the few ventures Griquas had into the 22 area resulted in a try for lock Martin Muller, who barrelled over after the visitors recycled well from a rolling maul.

However, Ruan Snyman sealed the game after man-of-the-match Willie Wepener jerichoed the Griquas’ defensive line and seeked support, which was availed by Deon Stegmann.

Nothing of note happened, but a rusty performance from a young Bulls side can serve as a warning.

Once they get into their groove, they could be a tad difficult to stop.

» Scorers

Blue Bulls:
Tries: Akona Ndungane, Ruan Snyman
Cons: Louis Fouche (2)
Pens: Fouche (6)

Griquas:
Tries: Rocco Jansen, Martin Muller
Cons: Francois Brummer (2)
Pen: Brummer
Drop goal: Brummer

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