Bulls outmuscle adventurous Blues
March 9, 2014
Jacques-Louis Potgieter scored a fine try in Pretoria
© Getty Images
The Bulls scored late to snare a bonus-point victory against the Blues at Loftus Versfeld, the hosts bagging four tries to one in a game that belied a heavy pitch that had been waterlogged 24 hours earlier following several days of rain.
The Bulls led 25-12 after scoring the three tries in the first half, but they were overshadowed for much of the second before summoning the energy to score in the final minute through replacement hooker Marcel van der Merwe.
The Blues were undone by mistakes and outgunned set-pieces.
"We wanted to keep the ball in play, use our skill and run them around," Blues captain Luke Braid said of his side's attacking approach. "To their credit, they held in there and defended really well."
The Blues produced some bright attacking moments, and five-eighth Simon Hickey belied his inexperience again with a composed display. In just his second game at this level, the 20-year-old landed six from six kicks at goal and set up the Blues' try, in the 57th minute, with a deft grubber kick that struck George Moala on the shoulder before replacement inside centre Pita Ahki pounced on the ball to score on debut.
Hickey's counterpart, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, kicked 16 points, including a 47-metre drop goal, and notched the opening try with a weaving cross-field run. Jono Ross and Jan Serfontein also scored for the Bulls.
The Bulls produced an outstanding effort to defeat the Blues (video available only in Australia)
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend