Blue Bulls dominate Province in Currie Cup opener

Jamba Ulengo scored a try for the Blue Bulls

The Blue Bulls earned a 45-26 bonus point Currie Cup victory over Western Province in their Premier Division opening match.

Western Province were completely outplayed in the opening half and with 19 minutes were trailing 38-0 before the Cape side fought their way back into the match.

It took over an hour of play before Province finally scored their first try, but by that time the match was over as a contest as the Bulls had already crossed the whitewash on five occasions.

In the end, the hosts outscored Province by six tries to four.

Despite a late flurry of tries from Province, coach John Dobson could be seen looking visibly distraught by the performance of his charges, and the Cape side will have much work to do during their bye next week.

Flyhalf Tiaan Schoeman opened the scoring with a penalty for the Bulls in the seventh minute.

The hosts produced their first flowing move of the day in the 19th minute from a turnover, number eight Arno Botha showed a good turn of speed on the wing and scrumhalf Piet van Zyl was on-hand to finish off the try. Schoeman added the extra two to take his side out to a 10-0 lead.

A quick throw-in near the Province line by the Bulls caught the visitors’ defence napping and lock Jason Jenkins sprinted through for an easy try in the 33rd minute. Schoeman nudged over the conversion to take the Bulls out to a 17-0 advantage.

The Bulls were in a rampant mood as they crossed the whitewash again two minutes later with lock Marvin Orie crashing over for the try. Schoeman nailed another conversion, this time from near the touchline as the lead ballooned to 24-0 which they would take into the interval.

The Bulls scored their bonus point as wing Jade Stighling burst through a gap in the Province defence after the dummy runners did the trick in the 48th minute. Schoeman was successful once again as he made it 31-0.

The rampage continued unabated as wing Jamba Ulengo gathered an overhead chip kick from fullback Bjorn Basson and dotted down for an easy try. Schoeman slotted another conversion to see a 38-0 lead come up on the board after 55 minutes.

Province finally got on the scoreboard when replacement centre Johnny Kotze barged through a gap from five metres out in the 62nd minute. Another replacement Brandon Thomson made the conversion to bring the score back to 38-7.

Province were then delighted to score a second as Leolin Zas was able to out-sprint a couple Bulls defenders to dot down a grubber kick in the corner. Thomson added the extra two to make it 38-14.

The scoreline became even more flattering in the 72nd minute as centre Huw Jones showed a great speed in a swerving run before diving over for the try. Thomson, this time, missed the conversion as the score moved to 38-19.

As the Bulls defence began to back off, especially in the midfield, Province fullback Scott Van Breda dotted down for his side’s fourth try and a bonus point. Thomson was on target to take it to 38-26.

Basson then gave the Bulls breathing space once again as he received the ball on the wing inside the Province 22, before darting away for a try under the uprights with less than a minute remaining. Schoeman had no problem in nailing the conversion to make it 45-26.

The late surge by Province meant they completely dominated the last quarter of the contest, but ultimately a convincing display in the first hour saw the Bulls to a comfortable victory.

Final Score Blue Bulls 45 Western Province 26

Scorers

Blue Bulls:
Tries: Van Zyl, Jenkins, Orie, Stinghling, Ulengo, Basson.
Cons: Schoeman 6
Pens: Schoeman

Western Province:
Tries: Kotze, Zas, Jones, Van Breda.
Con: Thomson 3

Referee : Stuart Berry

Teams

Blue Bulls

15 Bjorn Basson, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha (c), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Entienne Swanepoel, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Nqoba Mxoli, 18 Eli Snyman, 19 Hanro Liebenberg, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Tony Jantjies, 22 Dan Kriel.

Western Province

15 Scott van Breda, 14 Khanyo Ngcukana, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Daniel du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Jacques Vermeulen, 7 Jurie van Vuuren, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 JP Smith, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Brandon Thomson, 22 Johnny Kotze.

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