Bulls beat Rebels and keep cleansheet at home

The Bulls finished the 2014 Super Rugby season by going unbeaten at Loftus Versfeld after they beat the Rebels 40-7 in their final match of the year.

Both the Bulls and the Melbourne Rebels were out of contention for the play offs which start next week and they were playing for their final position in the standings.

The four tries to one result keeps the Bulls in second place in the South African Conference and up from 9th to 10th in the overall Super Rugby standings and one place above
the Blues who are last in the New Zealand Conference.

The Melbourne Rebels will finish the season in last place overall having won
just four of their sixteen matches compared to last year’s five wins.

Although the Bulls scored the first points in the match they made a slow start
and having led 6-0 they allowed the Rebels to score the opening try and to take
a 6-7 lead.

Two Handre Pollard penalties put the Bulls back into a 12-7 lead at half time.

After a dreary first half the Bulls showed their first spark when Paul Willemse
scored the home side’s first of four tries..

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard turned in a flawless place-kicking performance
with four penalties and three conversions.

The youngster opened the score with a penalty conversion seven minutes into
the match before he slotted another 13 minutes later.

Up to this point the Bulls were somewhat lucky to be leading by five points
after Rebels flyhalf Jack Debreczeni fluffed two early attempts at goal.

In the same vein they gifted the Rebels with an early advantage when lock Paul
Willemse was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle in the 16th minute.

Debreczeni soon had a chance to redeem himself when he found his way across
the whitewash following a sneaky underhand pass from Caderyn Neville at the
ruck to dot down and convert his own five-pointer.

The Rebels’ slender lead was short lived as Pollard’s trusty boot turned the
one-point deficit into a five-point advantage with two penalty goals in the
26th and 31st minute.

Debreczeni had another bite at reducing the Bulls’ lead on the half-time break
but failed with his attempt.

The sparse Loftus Versfeld crowd were soon awoken from their first-half induced
sleep when the hard-as-nails Willemse received a flat skip pass from scrumhalf
Piet van Zyl to burst over the line for his side’s first try of the evening.

Ten minutes later Willemse added his brace for a pick and go try that started
with a Bulls lineout and subsequent driving maul.

Pollard added the conversion to extend his side’s lead to 24-7 before Francois
Hougaard playing on the left wing scored a lovely individual try.

The fleet-footed player once again proved that he was more adept at playing
on the wing where he can exploit space with his dangerous attacking runs.

The Bulls spread the wide to the left where Hougaard dazzled the defence with
a little step to the inside before he rolled out of a tackle to score the third
try of the evening.

The match again went into a slight lull before replacement prop Dean Greyling,
who made a valuable contribution, found the tryline in the 77th minute for the
bonus point.

Final Score Bulls 40 (12) Rebels 7 (7)

Scorers

Bulls
Tries – P.Willemse 2, F.Hougaard, D.Greyling
Pen – H.Pollard 4
Con – H.Pollard 3, J.Potgieter
Drop –
Cards – P. Willemse (15th min yellow)

Rebels
Tries – J. Debreczeni
Pen –
Con – J.Debreczeni
Drop –
Cards – S.Fuglistaller (32nd min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee:
Rohan H

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