The Vodacom Blue Bulls lost their Vodacom Cup semi-final clash with the Leopards 17-11 at Securicor Loftus on Friday in a match they would want to forget.
The Blue Bulls did most of the playing in the first half with the ball in hand, but their opponents taught them a valuable lesson and they did not leave the Blue Bullsí half without putting points on the board. Naas Olivier kicked the Leopards to a 9-0 lead and the Blue Bulls had to wait until 10 minutes before the break before Jacques-Louis Potgieter could succeed with his first penalty.
The Blue Bulls finally converted pressure into a try with only three minutes left, and in the dying seconds of the first half, Potgieter succeeded with his second penalty to put the Blue Bulls into the lead for the first time.
The home side conceded the advantage shortly after the restart when Olivier was on the money with his fourth penalty. The referee, Deon van Blommenstein, punished Marius Delport with a yellow card for a professional foul, which was strange considering that he continually penalised the Leopards for the same offence without once reaching for his pocket.
The Leopards capitalised and Bertus Swanepoel dived over to put his side into the lead 17-11 after a period of good, sustained pressure.
Thatís the way it stayed and the Blue Bulls were left to rue missed opportunities and penalties.