Photo Credit:Vodacom Bulls.
The Vodacom Bulls had to fight back against a brave Griquas side to claim a season-opening 30-23 win in Pretoria.
Despite claiming the win, the Bulls looked a shadow of the team that outplayed the Sharks at the same venue a couple of weeks ago.
Credit must go to the Griquas, who put in a phenomenal defensive shift and pressured the Bulls at the breakdown, looking as if they may be set to cause an upset until the final 20 minutes.
The Bulls were able to grab a try just before the break when Jason Jenkins broke the line and put lock partner Ruan Nortje in for a try.
However, it seemed that their jerseys were the only change as the Bulls lost Tim Agaba to a yellow card, before Griquas fullback Anthony Volmink pounced on another forced offload to score an intercept try.
It was clear that Jake White had seen enough as he rang the changes and the Bulls very much changed their approach, focusing their efforts on their scrum, which was boosted by Springbok Lizo Gqoboka’s performance off the bench. That produced almost immediate results as the Bulls won a penalty try. Soon afterwards, match-day captain Arno Botha forced his way over the line and, at that stage, it seemed that the Griquas had finally run out of puff.
The Bulls now face a week of hard work as they next meet the Cheetahs, who looked in imperious attacking form against the Pumas.
Bulls – Tries: Ruan Nortje, penalty try, Arno Botha. Conversions: MorneSteyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (2).
Griquas– Tries: James Verity-Amm (2), Anthony Volmink. Conversions: GeorgeWhitehead. Penalties: Whitehead (2).
Meanwhile the Cheetahs routed the Pumas at Free State Stadium winning 53-31 to begin their campaign on a flyer on Saturday.
Watch Highlights Cheetahs vs. Pumas Below.
Video Courtesy of Super Rugby.