Loftus heaves a sigh of relief

2011-03-28 00:00

PRETORIA heaved a sigh of relief as the Super Rugby champion Bulls won again at Loftus, beating the Lions 30-23, while the log-leading Stormers finally remembered their attacking lines and blew away the Force 51-16 down in Cape Town.

The Bulls, desperate for a win, any win, after losses to the Highlanders and the Stormers in front of their home supporters, defended well and blunted the Lions’ attempts to play a frantic, expansive and occasionally risky game.

It was a drab game, littered with errors, though the Bulls will be happy with the four log points as they now set off on their tour Down Under and their first game against the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Flank Dewald Potgieter, hooker Gary Botha and Bjorn Basson scored tries for the Bulls while Deon van Rensburg and Franco van der Merwe crossed for the struggling Lions.

The Stormers, who have been successful in preventing other teams running in tries while scoring precious few of their own, delighted the Newlands crowd by finding their attacking rhythm against the Force and they will travel to Durban on Saturday to face the Sharks with their heads high.

With their forwards laying a solid platform, they ran in six tries against the outgunned Australians for their first bonus point win of the season.

In-form centre Jaque Fourie and lively hooker Deon Fourie each scored twice with lanky lock Andries Bekker and Jean de Villiers crossing for the other tries. Flyhalf Peter Grant produced a superb kicking display by goaling all nine of his attempts.

The Cheetahs, after their heroics against the Waratahs last weekend, were back in more familiar territory as they lost 41-8 to the improving Reds in Brisbane.

Their poor defence and inability to hold on to the ball saw the Free Staters trail by 29 points at the break and, although they limited the Reds to just another 12 points, there was no way back.

The Brumbies lost agonisingly 29-22 to a try in the dying seconds against the Waratahs in Canberra. The Brumbies had tied the scores (22-22) with just two minutes left on the clock scored, but failed to control the kick-off and the Waratahs plunged over deep into injury time with the winning try.

The Chiefs were also left frustrated as they went down 16-13 to the Auckland Blues in the closing moments.


Bulls 30 Lions 23 (H-t: 10-6)

Bulls: Penalties Morné Steyn (3) Tries - Dewald Potgieter, Gary Botha, Bjorn Basson. Conversion Steyn (2). Lions: Penalties - Elton Jantjies (3). Tries – Deon van Rensburg, Franco van der Merwe. Conversions– Jantjies (1), Andre Pretorius (1).


Stormers 51 Force 16 (H-t: 27-16)

Stormers: Tries: Jaque Fourie (2), Deon Fourie (2), Jean de Villiers, Andries Bekker. Conversions: Peter Grant (6). Penalties: Grant (4). Force: Try: James O’Connor. Conversion: O’Connor. Penalties: O’Connor (3).


Brumbies 22 Waratahs 29 (H-t: 12-12)

Brumbies: Try: Ben Alexander. Conversion: Matt Giteau. Penalties: Giteau (5). Waratahs: Tries: Ryan Cross, Sitaleki Timani. Conversions: Kurtley Beale (2). Penalties: Beale (5).


Chiefs 13 Blues 16 (H-t: 10-6)

Chiefs: Tries: Liam Messam, Sona Taumalolo. Penalty: Mike Delaney. Blues: Try: Jared Payne. Conversion: Luke McAlister. Penalties: McAlister (3).


Reds 41 Cheetahs 8 (H-t: 29-3)

Reds: Tries: Rod Davies (2), Will Genia (2), Digby Ioane, Saia Faingaa. Conversions: Quade Cooper (3), Mike Harris. Penalty goal: Cooper.

Cheetahs: Try: Wilhelm Steenkamp. Penalty goal: Sias Ebersohn.

Friday result: Rebels 42 Hurricanes 25.

Bye: Highlanders.

WEEKEND FIXTURES (home team first, SA times):


Highlanders vs Brumbies 0835

Waratahs vs Chiefs 1040


Blues vs Cheetahs 0630

Hurricanes vs Bulls 0835

Force vs Rebels 1305

Lions vs Reds 1500

Sharks vs Stormers 1705

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