Currie Cup

Second half fightback sees Bulls down 14-man Pumas at Loftus

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David Kriel (Gallo Images)
David Kriel (Gallo Images)
Gallo Images

The Bulls came from behind against a 14-man Pumas to remain on top of the Currie Cup standings at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday.

As it happened | Currie Cup - Bulls v Pumas

The home side won 31-26 after trailing 12-26 at half-time.

With five minutes gone on the clock, the Pumas found touch five metres out from the Bulls' try line after winning a penalty at the scrum. They got some go forward ball from their maul, but it was stopped short. The ball was swung wide and Sebastian de Klerk dotted down in the right-hand corner.

The Bulls then won three penalties in a row for which the Pumas were warned. After repelling the pressure, the Pumas extended their lead with a turnover try. De Klerk launched a counter-attack from their own line-out after the Bulls knocked the ball forward before it was de Klerk who finished off the try in the right-hand corner after chasing down a grubber kick. Eddie Fouche, this time, added the extras for a 12-0 lead.

The Pumas had been warned about repeated infringements at the maul and soon after getting their five-pointer, they conceded a penalty try. Scorer of their second try De Klerk was sent off with a yellow card for the offence at the maul and the referee awarded a penalty try.

Just as the Bulls showed signs of life, the Pumas got their third five-pointer. They backed themselves with one man down and opted for touch before Eduan Swart went over at the back of a maul, with Fouche's conversion good for a 19-7 lead.

The match, however, would turn on its head shortly after the half-hour mark when Pumas flyhalf Tinus de Beer was sent off for a late and high hit on Richard Kriel. It came after the Bulls grabbed their second try when Richard Kriel sliced through the Pumas defence and passed to his brother David Kriel to dot down.

However, the Pumas would have the last laugh before half-time. The ball was turned over by the Bulls and they looked to go wide before Richard Kriel tried to clear. The ball was charged down by De Klerk, who then collected and ran clear for his hattrick try, with Fouche adding the extras.

The Bulls continued to fight back and added their third five-pointer seven minutes after Ruan Vermaak finished off a well-worked try and Morne Steyn added the extras.

Seven minutes after that, the scores were level. James Verity-Am finished off a try for the Bulls after a low kick by the Pumas bounced into play. Verity-Am kicked it forward before he collected and ran clear, with Steyn making no mistake from the tee.

The Bulls edged themselves in front on the hour mark. David Kriel scored his second try of the night in the right-hand corner as the Bulls started to make use of their extra man. Juan Mostert secured the two points.

The Bulls were dealt a blow in the 78th minute when Mostert was yellow-carded for not rolling away. However, nothing came of it as the Pumas failed to capitalise.

In next weekend's Currie Cup action, the Bulls have a bye, while the Pumas travel to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs (Friday, 3 June - 18:00).

Scorers:

Bulls 31 (12)

Tries: David Kriel (2), penalty try, Ruan Vermaak, James Verity-Amm

Conversions: Morne Steyn (2)

Pumas 26 (26)

Tries: Sebastian de Klerk (3), Eduan Swart

Conversions: Eddie Fouche (3)

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