United Rugby Championship

Bulls go from bruisers to ballers with magnificent attacking play to thrash Scarlets

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Cornal Hendricks. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)
Cornal Hendricks. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)
  • The Bulls delivered a sumptuous attacking performance to thrash the Scarlets 57-12 in their URC clash at Loftus.
  • Jake White's troops were outstanding on the night, pleasingly showing some incisive attacking skills from inside their own half.
  • The Welsh side was nowhere, tackling poorly and making little use of what was admittedly limited possession.

A glance at the Bulls' point scorers in their 57-12 mauling of the Scarlets in their United Rugby Championship meeting at Loftus on Friday night would suggest a traditional bruising, forward-orientated performance.

After all, six members of home side's pack crossed the whitewash.

SCORECARD | United Rugby Championship - Bulls v Scarlets

It couldn't have been further from the truth.

For the past two years, Jake White, the Bulls' director of rugby, has emphasised that one of the pillars of his project in Hatfield would be the cultivation of a varied game-plan - in other words, forward power would be complemented by silky attacking play.

And boy, did Marcell Coetzee and his team-mates deliver on the night.

Some might point out that the Scarlets have been weakened by international call-ups, but that argument doesn't hold water when seven internationals were in the starting XV.

No passage of play exemplified the Bulls' sublime attacking ability from deep than hooker Johan Grobbelaar's second try in the 51st minute.

From a defensive scrum, pivot Chris Smith launched a cross kick that freed up rookie winger Canan Moodie, who then fed fullback and sevens star Kurt-Lee Arendse as play was shifted to the half-way line in a flash.

Scrumhalf Zak Burger found inside centre Harold Vorster, who niftily unleashed the rampaging Elrigh Louw in a charge that had the Welsh side at sixes and sevens.

Burger was on hand to keep the move going as prop Jacques van Rooyen produced a magnificent off-load for Grobbelaar.

A 80m move of pure magic.

Indeed, throughout the night the Bulls would literally run themselves out of their own half, particularly in the first half where the relentless trio of Arendse, outside centre Cornal Hendricks and wing Madosh Tambwe punched holes at will.

Yet it would be an injustice not to point out that some of the Bulls' try came from their more familiar dominance up front.

In fact, Moodie was on the scoresheet in the second minute from a set-piece where Louw - arguably the Man of the Match for a showing of outrageous power and hustle - almost embarrassingly exploited the blindside.

Even a defensive monstrous scrum in the 21st minute - a sight for sore eyes given the Bulls' struggles there this season - got them the exit that would eventually lead to Grobbelaar's first score.

The Scarlets, except for a solid build-up for replacement flanker Sione Kalamafoni's try, where nowhere.

They didn't see much of a ball and when they did, they frettered it away through knock-ons and interceptions.

Fullback Ioan Nicholas' yellow card early in the second half for taking Tambwe out in the air was indicative of their showing, a death knell for a side that needed that window to remotely get back into the game.

Point scorers:

Bulls - (31) 57

Tries: Johan Grobbelaar (2), Canan Moodie, Marcell Coetzee (2), Cyle Brink, Elrigh Louw, Ruan Nortje, Robert Hunt

Conversions: Chris Smith (5), Morne Steyn

Scarlets - (7) 12

Tries: Sione Kalamafoni, Rob Evans

Conversion: Rhys Patchell 

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