The Vodacom Blue Bulls ran in eight tries as they swept the Xerox Golden Lions away in their 54-22 (halftime 28-15) Currie Cup victory at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening.
The Blue Bulls were deserved winners as they dominated almost every facet of play with the men from Pretoria racing to a 21-0 lead after just 12 minutes.
Springbok scrumhalf Piet van Zyl sniffed out the tryline off the back of a dominant scrum by his forwards, and some poor tackling by the visitors, to score with lock Ruben van Heerden adding his name to the scoresheet after breaking away from a rolling maul to cross the tryline.
Flyhalf Tony Jantjies grabbed a try of his own in the 11th minute as the Blue Bulls turned over a counter-attack and the younger brother of Springbok pivot, Elton, exploited a gap to run in unscathed. His conversion made it three from three and he would go on to land another two.
The Blue Bulls were dealt a blow as lock Irne Herbst and hooker Jan-Henning Campher were yellow carded in the 22nd and 28th minute respectively and this allowed the Golden Lions to find space and attack with confidence.
The one man advantage saw former Varsity Cup sensation Aphiwe Dyantyi finish off a well worked set piece movement with prop Andrew Beerwinkel scoring off a dominant lineout drive seven minutes later.
The Golden Lions continued to spread the home team thin out wide and although the Blue Bulls did well to scramble they could not prevent Dyantyi from grabbing his brace with minutes left before half time.
The Blue Bulls were able to reset themselves when their numbers returned to 15 men and their dominance in the set piece was once again highlighted when inside centre Burger Odendaal ran a good line off a strong scrum to score the bonus point try.
Jantjies converted to hand the Blue Bulls a 28-15 lead at the break.
The home team were slower out the blocks when play resumed as the Golden Lions defence held on to prevent any points but the dam burst in the 51st minute when flank Boom Prinsloo’s try in the corner was confirmed by the Television Match Official.
Despite the Golden Lions being on the backfoot for most of the match, a quick tap did see the visitors catch the Blue Bulls off guard and after a few quick passes allowed outside centre Stokkies Hanekom to score their bonus point try which flyhalf Shaun Reynolds converted.
The Blue Bulls’ ill discipline through the 80 minutes could easily have matched their set-piece dominance with the referee dishing out another yellow card to wing Kefentse Mahlo for a dangerous tackle.
The final ten minutes of the second half saw the home team score no less than three tries despite being a man down for six minutes.
Wing Travis Ismaiel started the try-scoring spree when he collected a kind kick to race away and touch down while fullback Warrick Gelant scored after the Blue Bulls turned over the restart two minutes later.
Man of the Match and prop Pierre Schoeman brought the curtain down on an excellent day at the office for the Blue Bulls as he burrowed his way over to score.
Replacement flyhalf Tinus de Beer’s conversion sealed an emphatic 54-22 victory for the Blue Bulls who remain unbeaten after three rounds of the Currie Cup.
Vodacom Blue Bulls - Tries: Piet van Zyl, Ruben van Heerden, Tony Jantjies, Burger Odendaal, Boom Prinsloo, Travis Ismaiel, Warrick Gelant, Pierre Schoeman; Cons: Jantjies (5), JT Jackson, Tinus de Beer.
Xerox Golden Lions - Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi (2), Andrew Beerwinkel, Stokkies Hanekom; Con: Shaun Reynolds.