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Lions 24 Blue Bulls 39

Lions still looking for first win in Currie Cup

Blue Bulls impress with polished performance...

Early on in the game the Bulls showed their intention was to drive with their forwards, which they did quite well with Gary Botha prominent, but the defense of the Lions held in this onslaught in the first few minutes. At one stage the Bulls did manage to work a huge overlap to the left, but Gary Botha was the player that messed it up by breaking inside and the chance to score was lost.

Morne Steyn kicked a penalty 7 minutes into the 1st half for the Bulls to take a 3-0 lead. Mujati came off with a blood injury at this point, with van Rensburg taking his place for the moment.

Louis Ludik hit right back with a great try, this came from the halfway line where the Bulls knocked the ball on, Wikus van Heerden recovered it and the Lions hit left, where it went through the hands of Rose to Pretorius, who put Ludik in space with just the fullback to beat. Ludik also had Vermaak on his right, but opted to chip it, and luckily the bounce favoured him, he recovered and was able to dive over for the try. Harris missed the conversion, but the Lions now lead 5-3.

The Lions then had a great attacking opportunity on the Bulls ten meter line, but this time Pietman van Niekerk was the man that ignored his teams huge overlap on the left, but luckily for the Lions the Bulls infringed at the breakdown and Harris was able to kick this one over for the Lions to take a 8-3 lead.

25 minutes into the game the Bulls had a great attacking scrum on the Lions 22 meter line, they hit right to a huge open side, but Adams delayed his pass and was tackled ball and all by Vermaak, who was already having a great influence on the game.

Tim Dlulane scored a great power try for the Bulls from a ruck on the Lions line, making it 8-8 after 30 minutes with Steyn missing the conversion.

Ludik then had another impressive run with the ball, but was tackled on the Bulls 10 meter line, where the Bulls went offside, and Harris was able to put the Lions in an 11-8 lead.

The Bulls had another good attack with their forwards, going over the Lions line but drivven back, but from the ruck the Bulls sent it out to the left and Morne Steyn was able to run in a simple try, which he also converted for a 15-11 lead to the Bulls.

The Bulls then infringed again at a ruck, hands in this time, Harris seemed to have settled and kicked the rather difficult penalty to make the half time score 15-14 for the visitors.

In the second half the Lions made two changes with Jean Deysel and Ernst Joubert taking the field. The first bit of play was a but uninspiring, with both teams kicking for field position.

The Lions then tried a silly move on the halfway line, lost the ball and the Bulls hit left, where Marius Delport beat numerous tackles and defenders to score a 50 meter try. Steyn kicked the conversion, and the Bulls were now leading 22-14.

8 minutes into the 2nd half the Lions had a good attack, even though it might have been a bit laboured, battling a bit to gain ground, but eventualy the Bulls infringed at a ruck inside their 22 again, the tackler not releasing the tackled player. Harris kicked the easy penalty, but the Bulls still had a healthy 22-17 lead.

The Bulls regained the ball from the kickoff, and put the Lions under huge pressure, with Wannenburg eventually going over for the 4th Bulls try in the right corner. Steyn kicked the difficult conversion to stretch the Bulls lead to 29-17, and the Bulls starting to look like they might run away with this one.

Steyn kicked a huge penalty from the Lions 10 meter line and on the sideline minutes later, the Bulls lead now 32-17, and asking a lot off the Lions to make a comeback in this one.

Grant Esterhuizen and Ethienne Reyneke joined play at this stage, with Reyneke making an immediate impact, catching they eye with fiery running of the ball, but time was running out for the Lions, with only 15 minutes left in the game.

Vermaak came close to scoring a try, but was tackled into the corner flag on the left, and the TMO, correctly, ruled no try.

The Bulls went over for their 5th try, this one by replacement Jaco Engels, this from a scrum on the Lions 5 meter line in the middle of the field, the Bulls hitting right, and Engels strong enough to break the desperate tackling close to the line. Steyn converted this one as well, the Bulls lead a whopping 39-17, and the Lions a beaten side without answers.

After the hooter, the Lions had the last say, when from a ruck close to the Bulls try-line, in the middle of the field, the Lions hit left, and with little defense there for the Bulls, a long skip pass put Harris in space, and he was able to score in the left corner. He also kicked the conversion, the final score 39-24 for the Bulls.  

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Louis Ludik, Mark Harris  
 Mark Harris
Mark Harris 4  

For the Blue Bulls:
Tim Dlulane, Morne Steyn, Marius Delport, Pedrie Wannenburg, Jaco Engels   
Cons: Morne Steyn 4
Pens: Morne Steyn 2

Yellow card: none
Red card: none 

Lions: 15 Mark Harris, 14 Wylie Human, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Thabang Molefe, 11 Louis Ludik, 10 Earl Rose, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pietie Ferreira, 7 Russell Winter, 6 Wikus van Heerden(Capt), 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 James van der Walt, 1 Pietman van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reyneke, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Jean Deysel, 19 Ernst Joubert, 20 Rory Kockett, 21 Jody Rose, 22 Grant Esterhuizen.

Blue Bulls: 15. Stefan Basson, 14. Lukhanyo Nontshinga, 13. JP Nel, 12. Frikkie Welsh (Captain), 11. Marius Delport, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Heini Adams, 8. Pedrie Wannenburg, 7. Tim Dlulane, 6. Warren Brosnihan, 5. Francois van Schouwenburg, 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Rayno Gerber, 2. Gary Botha, 1. Wessel Roux.
Replacements: 16. Kobus van der Walt, 17. Jaco Engels, 18. James Milton, 19. Emile Verster, 20. Johannes Powell, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. John Mametsa

Referee: Mark Lawrence (Saru)
Touch judges: Deon van Blommestein & Charlton Pick 
TV Match Official: Shaun Veldsman

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