The Bulls cruised past the Crusaders 31-19 in their Vodacom Super Rugby seventh round clash on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria. The home team applied the pressure from the beginning drawing back their opponents to their five metre line within the opening minutes. In the third minute the Bulls won a lineout and spread possession wide, the ball reached Francois Hougaard who dashed over the try line.
The conversion was missed. Five minutes later Jan Serfontein passed to Burger Odendaal who exploited a gap on the wing, slipped a tackle and stumbled over the try line. This time Handre Pollard made the conversion.
In the 13th minute the Saders got themselves on the scoreboard as Dan Carter slotted a penalty. Israel Dagg then had a brief three minutes in which he caused trouble for Frans Ludeke’s men. His best effort ending with captain Richie McCaw being stopped while on the attack.
Five minutes later Carter slotted another penalty. In the 23rd minute Todd Blackadder’s men made a break, moved possession down the line, which reached Nemani Nadolo who powered through two tackles to reach the try line. Carter made the conversion.
In the following nine minutes both teams won penalties and Pollard and Carter successfully slotting them. In this period both teams exchanged the lead. Pollard would kick another penalty thus giving the home team an 18-16 lead going into half-time.
In the space of three early second half minutes the Bulls won consecutive penalties. Pollard scored both as the game looked to slip from the visitors. In the 63rd minute Carter slotted another penalty.
Just three minutes later Grant Hattingh put his name on the score sheet after he intercepted the Crusaders’ play. He successfully sprinted to the try line. Pollard made no mistake once again with the conversion.
From here possession changed hands between both teams as they cancelled each other out until the final siren sounded. The Bulls achieved a comfortable win in a match that provided some nerves for the Pretoria-based franchise.
Bulls Match Stats:
Tries – F Hougaard, B Odendaal, G Hattingh
Pen – H Pollard (4)
Con – H Pollard (2)
Crusaders Match Stats:
Tries – N Nadolo
Pen – D Carter (4)
Con – D Carter