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What a thriller!
Posted on Saturday, October 15, 2005 - 19:10
The Vodacom Blue Bulls will, like all their supporters, take a deep sigh of relief after their 31-23 qualification for their fourth consecutive Currie Cup final in a thriller against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Lions deserve credit for the manner in which they approached the match and if André Pretorius had his kicking boots on, the Lions could well have won the match.

As expected, the Lions placed the Blue Bulls under pressure from the word go and they were the first to capitalise. André Pretorius opened his side’s account with a penalty and soon afterwards Wayne Julies snaffled a loose pass to score the Lions’ first try.

Slowly but surely the Blue Bulls started to gather momentum and they started to dominate up front. However, they had little to show in terms of points for their efforts, except a few penalties. Soon the fat was truly in the fire when Wayne Julies exploited some poor defence to walk over for his second try.

With time in the first half almost something of the past, the Blue Bulls had a mountain to climb, but Pedrie Wannenburg broke free from a drive and beat two men with superb sidesteps for his try. Willem Stoltz added a little knee treatment behind the try line, which resulted in a penalty on the halfway line.

Morné Steyn duly converted this kick and the Blue Bulls trailed by only one point when the men left the field for drinks. After the break, the Blue Bulls did not relinquish the pressure and Akona Ndungane grabbed the ball from in front of the waiting Jorrie Muller and offloaded to his captain for the try that put the Blue Bulls in front for the first time.

Leonard was injured in this movement and everyone waited in anticipation to see how this would affect the side.

This was Fourie du Preez’s queue to step up and take control. He started to dictate the flow of the match with his kicks an then made the break for Akona Ndungane’s decisive try.

The Lions once again counter attacked and after a penalty by Pretorius a converted try could still have won the match for the Lions. Steyn, however, kicked a penalty for his side to sew up the match.

Vodacom Blue Bulls: Tries: Pedrie Wannenburg, Anton Leonard, Akona Ndungane. Conversions: Morné Steyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (4).
Lions: Tries: Wayne Julies (2). Conversions: André Pretorius (2). Penalties: Pretorius (3).

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