Bulls hammer Kings to top conference
April 20, 2013
Jano Vermaak helped the visiting Bulls establish an early lead with a try in the 22nd minute
© Getty Images
The Bulls produced a vintage performance to stun the Southern Kings 34-0 at Nelson Mandela Stadium on Saturday night.
The Kings showed some improvement in the second half by creating opportunities, but poor execution consigned them to a home defeat.
By contrast the Bulls were patient and scored two tries in the final six minutes of the match to seal a four-try bonus point win.
The victory sees the Bulls overtake the Cheetahs - earlier 12-6 winners over the Sharks in Durban - at the top of the South Africa conference and third overall. The Kings remain rooted to the bottom of the conference with 15 points.
The match was billed as a tight encounter, something all 45,649 people at Nelson Mandela Stadium were hoping for as they packed the Soweto stadium.
Instead it was the Bulls who dominated proceedings to the delight of the travelling supporters. Bulls fly-half Morne Steyn dictated play superbly, finding space in behind with some clever tactical kicking to have the hosts struggling to get out of their own half.
Eventually errors told and they were soon down 20-0 thanks to tries to Serfontein and Vermaak. The physicality was also taking its toll on the Kings as they tackled their opponents to the ground. It resulted in an overwhelming 74 percent of possession by half-time for the former champions.
Matt Sexton's men responded in the second half but were unable to break a resolute Bulls defence. Kings' fly-half Demetri Catrakilis had limited opportunities to showcase the open style of rugby suited to his side as Chilliboy Ralepelle and Pierre Spies led the defensive effort.
The Bulls produced a dominant display to defeat the Southern Kings (Australia only)
Soon after holding the fort, the Bulls attacked with the goal of a four-try bonus point. When they scored through Dewald Potgieter after 75 minutes it looked as if the Bulls would have to be satisfied with three tries.
But Akona Ndungane's late try ensured the Bulls left Port Elizabeth with all five points.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'