(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
The Vodacom Blue Bulls lost 20-5 (half-time 5-5) to DHL Western Province in their Currie Cup match at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening.
The visitors’ forwards were under massive pressure at scrum time and were subsequently heavily penalised, which ensured valuable momentum for the men in blue and white hoops.
The withdrawal of the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ experienced tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst, due to the birth of his child, disrupted the visitors’ scrum, something which DHL WP capitalised on.
In fact, after Springbok scrumhalf Embrose Papier scored a break-away try for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the eighth minute after they turned over possession in their own 22, it was basically one-way traffic for the home team.
Blitzbok speedster Ruhan Nel (outside centre) pulled one back for DHL Western Province after a period of sustained pressure in the 28th minute. Both conversions sailed wide and although the home team had more opportunities late in the first half, they failed to convert, which saw the half-time score tied at 5-5.
They created a number of opportunities but the Vodacom Blue Bulls didn’t bother the scorers after the break, while DHL Western Province, with their pack growing in stature as the game progressed, scored two more tries.
In the 47th minute, Juarno Augustus (No 8) went over for their second try after a clever cross kick which was regathered and the men from Pretoria didn’t have enough cover defence, while Craig Barry (replacement wing) got their third try in injury time, also from a cross kick.
SP Marais (fullback) added a penalty goal and a conversion, which put DHL Western Province well clear at the end of the match.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Ruhan Nel, Juarno Augustus, Craig Barry; Conversion: SP Marais; Penalty goal: Marais.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Try: Embrose Papier.