The Toyota Cheetahs’ strong second-half showing was enough to tame a spirited Vodacom Bulls side in round 3 of the 2023 Currie Cup competition in Bloemfontein. Edgar Marutlulle’s herd were handed a five-try 32-7 defeat at the Toyota Stadium, as an experienced Cheetahs side broke the Pretoria outfit’s defensive line on three occasions in the second half to downplay their efforts in the opening stanza.
Vodacom Bulls’ Currie Cup Head Coach, Edgar Marutlulle lauded the coming together of his squad, identifying areas of growth and strengths.
“I thought we were outstanding defensively in the first half, exceptional in the organisation of certain aspects of our game. It was a valiant effort and I am proud of them, especially in their defence. We are seeing growth, particularly for this group compared to where we were three weeks ago,”
“The game was really in the balance in some moments, even when you look at our disallowed try because of the new rule in the maul that does not allow you to be pre-loaded at the maul. When we couldn’t take some of our opportunities, then the game became really difficult to win.”
Captain, Lizo Gqoboka said: “The Cheetahs are quite strong, they have a good set piece, so we really had to work hard especially at the scrums, especially at the maul stops where we were sometimes good and sometimes not so good but I think we will be able to build on this,”
“We have a young pack and some of the guys have not played in a long time but we at least have a base to work from and all we can control is making sure that we learn and get better for the coming games. The nice thing about rugby is that each week brings on a new game.”
Next week, the men in blue travel to Welkom to take on the Novavit Griffons on Friday 31 March 2023.
VODACOM BULLS SCORERS:
Try: Jan-Hendrik Wessels x1
Conversion: Franco Knoetze x1
VODACOM BULLS vs TOYOTA CHEETAHS STARTING XV: 1. Lizo Gqoboka (c), 2. Jan Hendrik Wessels, 3. Robert Hunt, 4. Jacques Du Plessis, 5. Reinhardt Ludwig, 6. Cameron Hanekom, 7. Mihlali Mosi, 8. Muller Uys, 9. Keagan Johannes, 10. Chris Barend Smit, 11. Kabelo Mokoena, 12. Lionel Mapoe (vc), 13. Wandisile Simelane, 14. Quewin Nortje, 15. Franco Knoetze
VODACOM BULLS IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Joe Van Zyl, 17. Jacques Van Rooyen, 18. Sebastian Lombard, 19. Juan Van Der Weshuizen, 20. Phumzile Maqondwana, 21. Bernard Van Der Linde, 22. Adriaan Joubert, 23. Juan Mostert
MANAGEMENT: Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach, Sean Everitt – Defence & Breakdown, Hugo van As – Backline, Gert Smal – Forwards, Justin – Technical Analyst, Dr. Herman Rossouw – Team Doctor, Mike Prevoo – Strength & Conditioning, Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist, Claudette Eckard – Physiotherapist, Andries Kabine – Logistics Manager, Yusuf Vahed – Team Manager