Bulls too strong for Highlanders
May 19, 2013
The Bulls' Jano Vermaak makes a break against the Highlanders in Pretoria
© Getty Images
The Highlanders' horror Super Rugby season continued in Pretoria as the Bulls cruised to their fifth consecutive win with a comfortable 35-18 victory at Loftus Versfeld.
It took barely two minutes for the second-placed Bulls to hit the front, JJ Engelbrecht diving over in the corner for a lead the home team never looked like conceding.
First five-eighth Colin Slade kept the Highlanders in touch with two early penalties, but with Morne Steyn as accurate as ever, the Bulls took a 23-6 lead into the halftime break after winger Akona Ndungane added a second try just before the break.
The Bulls scored their third try six minutes after the restart, captain Pierre Spies crossing in his 100th Super rugby match for the team.
The Highlanders' woes were compounded by having to play almost 20 minutes of the match with 14 men, winger Maritino Nemani and prop Chris King both yellow-carded in the second half.
The Highlanders woes continued in Pretoria as they were trounced by the Bulls (video available Australia only)%]
With eight minutes left in the match, the Highlanders scored their first try when halfback Fumiaki Tanaka broke from a ruck and Hayden Parker converted.
However the Bulls lifted soon after for the bonus-point try when replacement halfback Jano Vermaak broke down the blindside from a maul to score.
The Highlanders crossed a consolation try when centre Tamati Ellison powered over in the final minute.
They now prop up the Super Rugby table with just one win from 11 starts.
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies