Bulls cook, but only for 60 minutes against Bordeaux

Henry

When your strengths are your pack forwards, you play tight end rugby and your back line has the ability to score tries, you don’t deviate from that.

The Bulls showed this on Saturday afternoon (but only in the first 60 minutes) at Loftus Versfeld when they defeated Bordeaux-Bègles with a bonus point victory 46-40 after leading 26-14 at halftime.

The Bulls already had their bonus point in the bag before the halfway mark, but lost intensity in the second half and almost paid a heavy price for it.

This enabled Bordeaux to grab two bonus points to finish ahead of the Bulls in the standings.

This could still cost the Bulls dearly in the play-offs, especially because according to the competition rules they will be playing away from home (on the Bristol Bears’ home field) in the semi-finals if they were to go through.

It only took the Bulls two minutes to start the fire, but the TV referee ruled that the young eight-man Cameron Hanekom did not have the ball under control when he moved over the goal line.

The Bulls smothered the visitors within the next few minutes and when the dam broke, Marcell Coetzee was left for the first of his two tries.

Bordeaux’s Carlü Sadie was also sent off with a yellow card after he did not roll away.

The Bulls rolled, grinded and drove for 40 minutes, they scrummed firmly, they maintained their possession in the lineouts and the backline was sent away at full speed by the scrum half Embrose Papier and Johan Goosen.

David Kriel and Devon Williams thrived and Willie le Roux was always dangerous from the back.

But in Loftus’ heat it seemed as if the Bulls ran out of steam and they almost lost the game.

Their defensive pattern, which allowed six tries, was not something that would leave coach Jake White excited.

Before the break, the forwards were in control, but after the break Bordeaux robbed the Bulls of their possession several times by drifting over the loose ball.

Yes, the referee Karl Dickson sometimes let them get away with it, they executed it very well and left the Bulls with quite a few nagging questions.

The Bulls, despite the slump, can at least also raise their heads, because finishing second in the group wants to be done.

But alas, then they will have to play for 80 minutes and keep their heads.

Scorers: Bulls 46 (26): Threes: Marcell Coetzee (2), Devon Williams, David Kriel, Willie le Roux, Embrose Papier. Goals: Johan Goosen (5). Penalty goals: Jaco van der Walt (2)

Bordeaux-Bègles 40 (14): Tries: Romain Buros, Adam Coleman, Madosh Tambwe, Tevita Tatafu (2), Paul Abadie. Goals: Zack Holmes (4), Mateo Garcia.