The Vodacom Bulls put in a huge effort to beat the Cell C Sharks 40-10 at a cold and wet Jonsson Kings Park in Round 9 of Vodacom Super Rugby on Saturday evening.
It was the home team that opened the scoring as flyhalf Robert du Preez sunk a penalty goal but this only served to wake the sleeping giant in Warrick Gelant who bagged two converted tries by Handrè Pollard to give the men from Pretoria a 14-3 lead after nine minutes.
Adriaan Strauss celebrated his 150th Vodacom Super Rugby cap by scoring off the back of a strong lineout drive and Pollard was on hand to convert his efforts.
The Cell C Sharks did string a few good phases towards the business end of the first half as inside centre Andre Esterhuizen crossed the whitewash. Du Preez conversion proved to be the last time they would score as the teams headed into the break with the Vodacom Bulls 21-10 a head.
The visitors consolidated their dominance in the second half as they scored a further three tries which handed them a valuable bonus point.
The Cell C Sharks felt the wrath of the referee in the 45th minute as they lost prop Thomas du Toit after repeated lineout infringements while the Vodacom Bulls were awarded a penalty try.
The rain worsened throughout the second half which saw handling of the ball go out the door and created a back-and-forth ding dong match with neither team able to challenge the scoreboard.
Gelant got his second hat-trick in as many matches against the home team after his superbly weighted grubber bounced into his hands to score. Replacement flyhalf Manie Libbok converted to earn his first points at this level.
Libbok would have a part in the final moments of the match as he kicked the ball to a waiting Johnny Kôtze with the wing only having to run in to score. His efforts shut the lid on a very successful evening for the visitors as they walked away 40-10 victors.
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Andre Esterhuizen; Conversion: Robert du Preez; Penalty: Du Preez.
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Warrick Gelant (3), Adriaan Strauss, Penalty try, Johnny Kôtze; Conversions: Handrè Pollard, Manie Libbok.