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Bulls stick it to the Blues
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 22:48
The Bulls delivered their most emphatic performance of the season when they upset the Blues 38-24 at Securicor Loftus, keeping their Super 12 dreams very much alive.

The Bulls were brilliant in all facets of play and especially in the rucks, where the Blues were at their most physical.

The Blues are not known for their dangerous game breakers for nothing and their two tries in the first half came from nothing as first Isa Nacewa and later Doug Howlett showed off the visitors’ running skills.

In between these two tries, Bryan Habana scored two tries, the second a scintillating solo effort down the touch line. The first try also bettered the season’s try-scoring record for the Bulls. Later in the half, Ettienne Botha scooped up a loose ball at the side of the ruck to dive over for the Bulls’ third try and a half-time lead of 19-14.

The Blues’ performance was once again typified by ill discipline and they could well have been docked a few yellow cards had the referee, Stuart Dickinson, not been so lenient.

The second half kicked off with both teams not willing to give an inch and the collisions just seemed to get harder as the game progressed. The teams just traded penalties with 15 minutes left in the match, before a sweeping backline movement of the Blues sent Mils Muliaina over in the corner an Luke McAlister converted to bring the Blues within two.

The Bulls then dominated territory and possession and finally Ettienne Botha scored his second try in much the same fashion as the first to secure the bonus point for the Bulls.

With the conversion missed, the Bulls only led by six points and the dangerous Blues could still come back. The Bulls held their composure, however, and fought back into the Blues half to milk a penalty and make the match safe. Akona Ndungane then rubbed salt in the New Zealanders’ wounds with a follow-up try in the last minute.

Points:

Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Bryan Habana (2), Ettienne Botha (2), Akona Ndungane. Conversions: Morné Steyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (3).

Blues: Tries: Isa Nacewa, Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina. Conversions: Luke McAlister (3). Penalty: McAlister.



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