There must be great concern in the corridors at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, because to be without a seal after three games in the Currie Cup series and to have a worse point difference (-81 against -71) than the Griffons is not good reading material for any team and around any barbecue fire.
This is the story of the Bulls’ rugby team, which was beaten 32-7 by the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday evening after the Free Staters led 15-7 at half-time.
Yes, this is a young team that is thrown in at the deep end, but not scoring any points in the second half, isn’t that what the fans expect from their team?
Perhaps too much is expected of the team, especially because the Bulls, Bulls, Tukkies and the Bulls’ young teams have dominated in the past few years and have placed quite a few trophies in Loftus’ glass cases.
But just one bonus point after three Currie Cup games? Where is the depth?
Admittedly, the Cheetahs have chosen their best team and will have to dig deep for the next few games to catch on when the team plays overseas against tough teams like Toulon and competes for the Currie Cup at home.
It will be expensive, especially because two of the Free Staters’ student teams, the Shimlas and Ixias, will focus all their attention on the Varsity Cup series and those players’ buttons cannot be pushed now.
Nevertheless, the Cheetahs’ experienced toughs, such as Frans Steyn (before he was injured), Ruan Pienaar, Oupa Mohoje and Jeandré Rudolph bullied, strangled and forced the Bulls into mistakes.
This enabled young players such as Daniel Kasende, Cohen Jasper, Munier Hartzenberg and Siba Qoma to excel.
For the Bulls, it’s back to the drawing board, looking for answers that aren’t there yet.
Points: Free State Cheetahs 32 (15) Tries: Gideon van der Merwe, Marnus van der Merwe, Munier Hartzenberg, Siba Qoma, Cohen Jasper. Goals: Ruan Pienaar (2). Penalty goals: Pienaar
Bulls 7 (7) Tries: Jan Hendrik Wessels. Goal kick: Franco Knotze.
Griffons fall hard against Lions
At Ellis Park, the Griffons learned two expensive lessons against the Lions.
One is that poor discipline will bite you on the heel and secondly that a game lasts 80 minutes.
The Griffons were 23-12 ahead at half-time, but when they ran out of steam in the second half and received two yellow cards because they could no longer close the dam, the Lions took control and beat the Persians 41-26.
For the Lions, the victory was much needed for their confidence, because they are playing with a team full of exciting youngsters.
Points: Lions: 41 (12): Tries: Sibusiso Sangeweni, Stean Pienaar, Nico Steyn (3), Rynhardt Roets. Goals: Vaughen Isaacs (4), Tiaan Swanepoel.
Griffons: 26 (23) Tries: Marquit September, Dandré Delport. Goals: Jaywinn Juries (2). Penalty goals: Juries (4).
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