Blue Bulls still on track as they edge Cheetahs

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls beat the Toyota Free State 24-17 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday to score a fifth consecutive win in the Absa Currie Cup. 

The game, played with rain bucketing down periodically during the match, saw the teams score two tries each at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, reports rugby365.co.za

While it may not have been the try-feast that the Vodacom Blue Bulls produced in the first round against the men from Bloemfontein, it was an exciting encounter - despite the high error- and penalty-count in Pretoria.

It turned on a 10-point blitz by the Blue Bulls in the final quarter, when they took the score from a one-point (11-10) lead to a commanding 21-10 lead.

Even though the Free State Cheetahs rallied to give themselves a chance of a late winner, the Blue Bulls' greater composure won the day.

The breakdown was a massive arm-wrestle, shaded by the Blue Bulls, the line-outs also went to the home team and the scrums were mostly dominated by the Cheetahs.

Then there was the Blue Bulls' defence, which only occasionally looked fragile. For most park it was a rock-solid wall of blue jerseys keeping the runners in white at bay.

The Blue Bulls were heavily penalised in the early stages of the game, with Fred Zeilinga having a shot at goal in the fifth minute - pushing a kickable penalty well wide.

The Cheetahs continued to make most of the play, enjoying more than 60 percent of the possession, with Zeilinga getting a second shot at goal in the 15th minute - also pushing this one past the right upright.

Right at the end of the first quarter the Bulls showed the devastating counter-attacking ability - a turnover deep in their half and some sublime handling allowed Burger Odendaal to go over for the first try of the match. Tian Schoeman's conversion attempt just drifted wide - 5-0.

The scores seemed to resulted in a massive shift of momentum - the Blue Bulls beginning to dominate the set pieces and the collisions, resulting in a penalty on the Cheetahs 22-metre line in the 27th minute, which Schoeman slotting the kick for a 8-0 lead.

It went from bad to worse for the Cheetahs just past the half-hour mark - prop Luan de Bruin being sent to the sin bin for a professional foul, a late shoulder charge on scrumhalf Francois Hougaard. Schoeman kicked the penalty for a 11-0 lead.

This seemed to spark the Cheetahs, with a blistering break by Shaun Venter from a ruck just outside the Blue Bulls 22-metre area resulting in Rayno Benjamin going over for a well-worked try. Zeilinga finally landed a kick - making it 7-11, which is how the score stayed till half-time.

Early in the second half Zeilinga made it a one-point (10-11) game, after the Blue Bulls found themselves on the wrong side of the referee's rulings.

On the 50-minute mark the Cheetahs were penalised for illegal scrumming just inside their half, but Schoeman was just wide and short.

Within minutes the Cheetahs sent on a host of replacements, including two front row players, and immediately won a scrum penalty. However, Zeilinga was wide again.

The game then became an arm-wrestle, as the hits became more brutal with every passing minute.

Going into the final 15 minutes the Cheetahs were penalised for offside play just outside their 22 and replacement Louis Fouche made it 14-10, but missed with a kickable penalty just minutes later.

However, with just under 10 minutes left on the clock the Blue Bulls produced the moment of magic that so often turns and wins games - electrifying interplay sending Dries Swanepoel over for a try. Fouche added the space and at 21-10 the Blue Bulls had some breathing space.
Again the Cheetahs game back with a vengeance - a couple of powerful scrums earning then two penalties in quick succession five metres from the Blue Bulls' line. The second penalty saw replacement Sias Ebersohn take a quick tap and force his way over.

Clayton Blommetjies added the conversion, a quickly-taken drop-goal, to make it 17-21 with three minutes left.

However, a knock-on from the restart saw the Cheetahs pinned inside their 22 and then the Blue Bulls winning a penalty, which Fouché slotted to make it a 7-points game - the Bulls holding on to the end, despite a late Cheetahs rally, for a 24-17 win.

Man of the match: Clayton Blommetjies again showed he is a special talent, Fred Zeilinga showed what a loss he was when the Sharks let him go, Shaun Venter was another who tested the Bulls' defence, Francois Uys put his body on the line, while the Cheetahs front row of Luan de Bruin, Elandre Huggett and Burrie Uys made life unpleasant for the Bulls. Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel and Jamba Ulengo were impressive with ball in hand, Dries Swanepoel and Burger Odendaal continued their growth as a midfield combination, Francois Hougaard again showed that he will not let the Springboks down at the World Cup, Arno Botha again showed what a special talent he is, while Pieter Labuschagne, Marvin Orie and Jacques du Plessis produced massive work-rates. However, our award goes to Blue Bulls flank Roelof Smit, who was a real menace at the breakdown and made some crucial turnovers in a game of very small margins.

Scorers:

For the Vodacom Blues Bulls:
Tries: Odendaal, Swanepoel
Con: Fouche
Pens: Schoeman 2, Fouche 2

For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Benjamin, Ebersohn
Cons: Zeilinga, Blommetjies
Pen: Zeilinga

Yellow card: Luan de Bruin (Free State Cheetahs, 34 - professional foul, late tackle)

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Sep 04, 2015

(16) Blue Bulls still on track as they edge Cheetahs

  1. Bly oor die wen maar die scrums bly n probleem.

    Greyling en Kruger is nie die beste nie maar die probleem le dieper as die voorry.

    Die afrigting span sal iemand moet inbring.
  2. gravatar RuggaFanToo says:
    Geluk met die wen manne. Oppas net, as jou kop in die wolke is kan jy nie sien wat op die speelveld aangaan nie. Was dalk nodig om die manne weer af aarde toe te bring.
  3. gravatar jong bulle says:
    Hoop ons besef dat geen span met so skrum 'n beker gaan wen nie. Seisoen is darem nog lank om die probleme op te los.
  4. gravatar Platbergbul says:
    Dis waar oor die skrums maar ek dink die Vrystaat sit met groter probleme as ons. Veral hulle agterlyn is uiters voorspelbaar en verder lê hulle uiters vlak op die verdediging. Dis jammer dat die veld nat was.
  5. gravatar Loftus says:
    Well done Bulle! Cheetahs het n baie meer ervare span,so hierdie is n learning curve vir ons span. Was nie ons beste game nie, maar solank ons leer uit ons foute,is ek bly. een ding is seker...Roelof Smit is die real deal! Arno is nog nie naby sy beste nie, maar hy sal daar kom. selfde met Tiaan. ek hou van Pierre Schoeman ook. Swanepoel kan Springbok raak. Al wat hierdie span nodig het, is n enforcer soos Willemse. Sy kontrak loop eers uit oor n jaar, maar ek hoop ons kan hom terug kry. jy kan sien Nollis ken sy rugby ... uiteindelik het ons weer n coach! Ludeke het dit nooit besef nie - kompetisie in die squad is n goeie ding. Senior spelers wie verseker van n plek in die span is, en uit vorm is, is sleg vir die hele unie. Maar van ons het dit al vir die laaste 5 jaar gese...
  6. Jimmy says:
    Hie kom 'n ding en daai ding het moese horings.

    Doe so voort Bulle!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. gravatar Brenda says:
    Baie geluk met julle wen Bulle! Welkom terug Marcelle en Jan!

    Louis Fouche thank you for saving the game for us. Ek dink Tian kort nog bietjie ondervinding, het takties nie goed gespeel in die reen en onder druk nie. Louis het meer ervaring en behoort volgende week teen Leeus te begin met Tian op die bank. Hougi jy gaan nie lank uit die Springbokspan gehou word nie. Jy speel briljant.

    Nollis puik gedoen sover, miskien moet jy dat die span soms op n nat veld oefen? Sit die spreiers aan :)

    Geluk aan die Bulle span en almal wat betrokke is agter die skerms. Voorspoed vir volgende week teen die Lions. Dis die grootste uitdaging hierdie jaar sover, ek glo julle kan hulle klop, maar dit gaan nie maklik wees nie, maar beslis moontlik.

    Ai dis lekker om n Bulle ondersteuner te wees :)
  8. gravatar enrique says:
    Goeie wen! Ons gameplan sal jy sukkel in daardie weer. Een ding is verseker roelof smit daar om te bly! cheetahs goeie defence, hul het laaste 3 gamee, 3driee in totaal weggegee. Bulle nogsteeds gehardloop, kon net nie afrond nie en offloads het nie tot hand gegaan nie.
  9. gravatar Paarlbul says:
    Dit was n wen en ons vat dit maar dit was baie slordig, gelyk asof Nollis ook so voel. Orie se skop het als gese.
    As Dayan die Bulle se toekoms is op 3, dan het ons ptobleme.
  10. gravatar Bully says:
    Geluk met wen, maar ek het laasweek al gese dat ons gaan sukkel teen die Leeus, staan te maklik besit af, en dan die skrums. Veral die loskoppe bind nie reg nie (Dean Greyling die groot sondebok) hulle moet hoer op die opponent se trui bind, en sy elmboog ophou, hulle bind laag en dan trek hulle die opponent af met elmboog wat grond toe wys. Maar nou ja, wat weet ons.
    Sterkte volgende week!!
  11. gravatar Blouboy says:
    My Boys!!! Baie geluk!!! Nou vir die grote, die kompetisie begin nou vir ons. Na die Leeus dink ek gaan ons weet hoe goed ons werklik is. Die Leeus is baie lus vir ons en hulle het nie regtig swak plekke in hulle mondering nie. Ons sal dus moet Step Up. Ek is soos almal maar baie bekommerd oor ons scrums. Hoe fix ons dit? 4 Jaar al is dit ons trademark en lyk nie eers of n nuwe afrigter dit kan uitsort nie. Ek dink dis goed dat ons so bietjie gesukkel het gisteraand, nou weet die ouens hulle sal harder moet werk. Ek is baie beindruk met Hougaard se houding, kop omhoog na teleurstelling, n ware voorbeeld vir al die jong mannetjies wat opkyk na hom. Sterkte manne, lekker hard werk die week, fokus en dan: STEP UP vir die grote, julle kan, ons is trots op julle!!
  12. gravatar Bloukaap says:
    Nee wat, ons vat hierdie wen.

    Die Cheetahs het baie hard gewerk aan hul verdediging sedert die eerste game in Bloem. Ditw as maar baie gelykop. soos iemand eendag na hard egame gese het: dit was gelykop in ons guns.

    Die nat weer was neutraliseerder gewees en ons kan ook nie verwag om elke Saterdag 40 punte op te stapel nie. van hier af wag drie baie moeilike games, maa rons is nog sterk geposisioneer op die punteleer.

    Wat vir my belangrik is, en wat ek die afgelope 4 jaa rgemis het, is dat ons, ten spyte daarvan dat ons nie baie goed speel nie, behalwe vir 'n paar goeie oomblikke, nog steeds ons games kan wen. Hierdie was 'n game wat ons net sowel kon verloor het, maar die outjies het mooi kop gehou. Die verskillende omstandighede bou ook selfvertroue en momentum.

    Dit was ons eerste nat game van die seisoen. Die span se belsuitneming wa snie altyd baie goed nie, maar ek verstaan dit heeltemal. Ons sal nou begin leer jy kan nie altyd dieselfde game plan speel nie.

    in hierdie weer het Roelof Smit en Lappies gedy, en ons basiese fasette was goed. Pierre Schoeman sal nog baie kontak moet wat voor hy weer 100% reg is, want die bindwerk by hom sukkel ook. Ons gaan pak kry in die skrums teen die Leeus as dit nie hierdie week reggestel word nie.


    Ek stem saam dat Tiaan gesukkel het in die nat weer met sy taktiese skopwerk asook pale toe, maar so ook Zeilinga. Louis Fouche het 'n sitter van 'n skop gemis met die telling nog 11-10 , een van sy ou laaie. Beide ons skoppers sal moet hard werk aan hul game. Tiaan het nou twee moeilike omstandighede agter die rug - verlede naweek in Kimberley was nog moeiliker. Ons moenie nou vir Tiaan weggooi nie, dis hoekom ouens soos Brummer en Boshoff nooit by die Bulle kon ontwikkel nie. So laat Tiaan maar bietjie suffer, dit gaan hom bou.

    Ek glo ons sal volgende naweek kan wen as ons kan opmaak vir die tekortkominge
  13. gravatar Muzi says:
    Tian Schoeman is a very good player but inconsistent..he blows hot and cold...at Super Rugby level you will not win the trophy by making so many basic errors....he's still a better @10 than Louis Fouche.....the real general at loftus is 21-year-old Handre Pollard.....Dries Swanepoel is the real deal..when last did you see a @13 create space out of nothing at the Bulls?!?!that off load was not pure luck...he's been doing that since Under 14 level....
    Pierre Schoeman and Marcel vD Merwe need to be given another chance as a combination yes they did battle and win some scrum class...so what if they lost a few scrums...Cheetahs props also penalized....leave Greyling and Kruger home...Entienne Swanepoel should be the back up @3...Dayan needs to go back to Under 21 rugby and learn how to scrum.....Roelof Smit will be a bok....
  14. gravatar Blouland says:
    Ek vat ook die wen, goeie wen onder moeilike omstandighede.

    Maar ja, die skrums bly 'n probleem. Onthou, die skrum is die werk van die hele agttal, veral die vaste vyf.

    Daarom die vraag, was dit wys om Flip te laat gaan, sy ervaring en skrumwerk kon help ?

    Orie en RG speel goed, maar nie groot swaargewigte nie. JDP was nog nooit 'n groot slot skrummer nie.

    Volhard met Schoeman, sit Dean op die bank.

    Tian sal ook leer, hou hom daar en bring Fouche op as hy sukkel teen Lions. Tian, skop vinniger uit die hand ou seun!

    Bulle !
  15. Die Bulle kort 'n skrumafrigter. Dit is nie net die stutte se skuld dat hulle so sukkel in die skrums nie. Dit kom al n paar jaar.



  16. gravatar Bloukaap says:
    Het die Leeus teen Kings gekyk vanaand. met die klok op 73 min was die telling nog 27-21. Met bietjie meer luck kon die Kings vir groot opskudding gesorg het.

    Wat maak die Leeus so goed?

    Die Leeus se scrum is bleddie goed.

    Hul bench maak die beste impak van al die spanne.

    Hul cleaning is briljant.

    Hul pak speel as eenheid baie goed saam. Die slaankrag agterlangs lyk bietjie so-so.

    Maar hulle het nie x faktor nie en lyk verdag teen goeie.baldraers en off loads, rolmale en lynstane. Hulle is ook hietjie uitgedun op senter.

    Ek dink ons kan hulle klop.

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