Bulls overpower Hurricanes in Pretoria
May 4, 2013
Akona Ndungane celebrates after crossing for one of six tries the Bulls scored in their win over the Hurricanes
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New Zealand's Hurricanes conceded six tries in an error-ridden 48-14 hammering at the hands of the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, leaving their Super Rugby play-off hopes teetering. Capitalising on the dominance of their forward pack, the Bulls made it five-from-five at their home ground this season and cemented their place as South African conference leaders.
A second straight loss and fifth out of 10 this season for the Hurricanes was compounded by the sight of captain Conrad Smith being taken from the field on a stretcher with his head stabilised by medical staff.
The veteran All Blacks centre appeared to be knocked out before he hit the ground when making a low tackle on Bulls opposite JJ Englebrecht in the 23rd minute. By that stage the visitors trailed 20-0 and they never threatened to improve on their 4-3 winning record in Pretoria.
The Bulls dominated the early scrums and boasted a far better line-out than their loose opponents. Ill-discipline and a failed tactic of spreading the ball wide from inside their territory also cost the Hurricanes dearly in the first half.
The South African conference leading Bulls proved too strong for the Hurricanes (Australia only)
They conceded tries to Englebrecht and winger Akona Ndungane through looping passes thrown well inside their own half. The other first half try was scored by flanker Deon Stegmann from a driving maul as the hosts took a 27-0 lead into the break.
Hurricanes half-back TJ Perenara crossed twice to cap a bright spell in the first 15 minutes after half-time but the Bulls regained control and tries to prop Dean Greyling and reserve backs Lionel Mapoe and Louis Fouche carried them to their second-biggest win over a New Zealand side. The biggest was the 61-17 thrashing of the Chiefs in the 2009 final.
Prolific five-eighth Morne Steyn kicked two penalties and five conversions in a 16-point haul.
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