Vodacom Blue Bulls edge Xerox Golden Lions XV

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The Vodacom Blue Bulls held on to beat the Xerox Golden Lions 35-37 (halftime 11-23) in a pulsating Super Sport Rugby Challenge match at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Xerox Golden Lions hosted the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the curtain raiser to the main game between the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls on a perfect winter’s afternoon.

It was the home team that hit the ground running as outside centre Jarryd Sage scored a try within minutes of kick-off.

It was all about the Blue Bulls after Sage’s five pointer though as the men in light blue scored three tries while keeping the Golden Lions at bay.

Flank Boom Prinsloo carried on with his try scoring form as he powered his way over the whitewash in the 17th minute while hooker Corniel Els scored off the back of a rolling maul five minutes later.

Golden Lions’ flyhalf Shaun Reynolds pulled back six points courtesy of his boot before his opposite number Tinus de Beer scored in the right hand corner.

De Beer brought the curtain down on the first half with a penalty goal to give the Blue Bulls a 11-23 lead at the break.

The Golden Lions must have had a gruelling halftime chat as they came out firing with the home team scoring three tries within 13 minutes.

Fullback Ashlon Davids sniffed a gap close to the Blue Bulls’ line to score with no.8 and captain Jano Venter strolling over to score in the 50th minute. Wing Selom Gavor used his pace well to give the Golden Lions a 28-23 lead in the 53rd minute.

The Blue Bulls slowly found their feet as the second half progressed and thought they had scored through Els but his try was disallowed by the TMO for not grounding. A dominant scrum by the visitors a minute later resulted in a penalty try and gave them back the lead.

The Blue Bulls continued to push hard and were awarded their fifth try as flank Arno Botha showed great strength to dot down with defenders desperately trying to keep him up.

Reynolds set up a nerve wrecking ending to a spectacular match when he scored a converted try to cut the deficit to just two points and had the opportunity to win the match with a penalty goal with the clock exhausted but his kick sailed wide.

This allowed the Blue Bulls to leave Johannesburg with a hard fought 35-37 victory against the ,up until then, unbeaten Golden Lions.

SCORERS

Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Jarryd Sage, Ashlon Davids, Jano Venter, Selom Gavor, Shaun Reynolds; Cons: Reynolds (2); Pens: Reynolds (2).

Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Boom Prinsloo, Corniel Els, Tinus de Beer, Penalty try, Arno Botha; Cons: de Beer (2); Pens: de Beer (2).

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