Blue Bulls kick off Currie Cup with Cheetahs romp

The Blue Bulls romped to a 57-19 Currie Cup victory over the Free State Cheetahs
in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Bok hopeful scrumhalf Francois Hougaard scored a brace in this very impressive
first-round Currie Cup outing by the men from Pretoria.

While there has never been any doubt in his ability to finish, Hougaard made
a drastic step-up behind the base of the scrum and the result was quality first-phase
ball for his teams’ big-ball carriers.

The Cheetahs were, however, first to get off the mark when Boom Prinsloo –
their stand-out player in this defeat – dived over as early as the third
minute of the match.

This early score put some wind in the sails of the Cheetahs, but the Blue Bulls
remained patient and by the 12th minute the scores were level after Jamba Ulengo
finished off from a well-timed pass by Hougaard.

Flank Deon Stegmann would then take his team seven points clear after he crashed
over from a trademark Blue Bulls rolling maul.

Fly-half Tian Schoeman then put six more points past the Free State squad with
two penalties before Hougaard slipped through for his first five-pointer in
the match.

The Cheetahs struggled to retain possession and had only themselves to blame
as handling errors and poor decision- making by their backline players played
right into the hands of the visitors.

The Blue Bulls were 20 points clear after 40 minutes and, that lead would be
extended in an even poorer second-half by the home side.

Apart from a well-worked try by Henco Venter and a consolation try by Clayton
Blommetjies, the Cheetahs could not do anything else right.

At times, the Blue Bulls may have thought that it was a training routine as
there was no structure in the Free State defensive lines, while their set-piece
work was appalling.

The bonus-point try was scored by Warrick Gelant in the 54th minute after the
full-back showed a superb turn of pace to breakthrough a backline that was in
disarray.

Hougaard and Travis Ismaiel later contributed to the one-sided second half
with solid finishes, but credit has to go to the Blue Bulls pack as it was their
hard work that made life look so easy for their backs.

Final Score Cheetahs 19 (7) Blue Bulls 57 (27)

Scorers

Cheetahs
Tries: Boom Prinsloo, Henco Venter, Clayton Blommetjies.
Conversion: Niel Marais (2).

Blue Bulls
Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Deon Stegmann, Francois Hougaard (2), Warrick Gelant, Travis
Ismaiel.
Conversions: Tian Schoeman (5), Louis Fouche.
Penalties: Schoeman (4), Louis Fouche

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