The Vodacom Bulls returned to winning ways when they beat the Lions 30 – 23 at Loftus in a match that took almost 75minutes to come alive.
The match was dominated by handling errors during the contact situations and was eventually sealed by the Bulls when Elton Jantjies botched a kick-off from the 22 and kicked it straight into the Bulls’ hands. The Bulls replacement hooker Gary Botha went on to score from the phases that followed.
The Lions drew first blood through an Elton Jantjies penalty before the Bulls’ Dewald Potgieter dived over for a try after prop Werner Kruger kicked a loose ball up the field. Morne Steyn converted and added a penalty before the Lions were awarded a penalty right on half-time. Elton Jantjies kicked a 55m penalty to close the gap to 10-6 at the break.
The second half started with a penalty a piece for Steyn and Jantjies. Steyn added another penalty before Jantjies botched a 22 kick-off that led to the Bulls’ second try of the match. The Lions struck back a while later when Deon van Rensburg dove over from a quick tap penalty.
It was only with 5minutes left in the match that both teams started showing some guts and determination. First it was the Bulls who scored their third try when Bjorn Basson dove over in the corner after the Lions tried to run it out of their own 22 and got caught. The TMO had to adjudge whether Basson stayed in or not and after a few looks at the replays gave the thumbs up. It wasn’t 90 seconds later when Lions captian Franco van der Merwe capitalized on some poor Bulls defense and with Andre Pretorius taking a quick conversion to put them back within seven points.
In the final moments the Lions went for the draw while the Bulls tried to get the four-try bonus point but just like the majority of the match both teams lost possession in crucial positions and that is also when Victor Matfied decided to end the match by kicking it into touch.
Tries: Dewald Potgieter, Gary Botha, Bjorn Basson
Conv: Morne Steyn (3)
Pen: Morne Steyn (3)
Tries: Deon van Rensburg, Franco van der Merwe
Conv: Andre Pretorius (2)
Pen: Elton Jantjies (3)