Bulls head for clinical opening win over Lions



The bulls sailed to a comfortable 31-15 win (Halftime 15-8) the Lions in a rambling opening game of the united rugby league (URC) for both teams at Ellis Park on Saturday night.

Both teams made a number of errors during the game, but it was the home side who made the most of them, while awarding a number of penalties to allow the Bulls to retire in the second half after having tied the scores with 35. minutes to go.

THEN READ: Lions prepare for fight against Bulls

In the game, the Bulls got off to a good start, confidently moving up the pitch from kick-off, in the Lions 22m where they earned a penalty, took a quick kick, with captain Marcell Coetzee for the first score, converted by fly-half Chris Smith for a 7-0 lead.

The first scrum of the match then brought the Lions their first points as a massive scrum from the hosts Bulls earned them a penalty from the 10m, with Jordan Hendrikse nailing the kick to make it 7-3 after seven minutes .

Smith brought the Bulls back seven ahead with a penalty in the 21st minute, after Lions center Marius Louw was lashed out for tackling a player without the ball on the 22m line in front of the posts.

From the kick-off, the Bulls then scored a superb try, going from start to finish as they attacked behind their own try line before kicking the ball in front.

The visitors then returned the ball to the breakdown, attacked the Lions from 22m and Coetzee sent the ball to wing Cornel Hendriks to pass in the corner, Smith missing the conversion to leave the score 15-3 after 24 minutes .

The final 10 minutes of half then belonged to the home side as they enjoyed their best spell as a good midfield maul earned them a penalty, which they rammed deep into the Bulls at 22m, then maimed the ball from the lineout, with eighth-placed Francke Horn pointing down.

Hendrikse missed the touchdown conversion and then missed an easier penalty three minutes later, before a late error in a lineout deep into the Bulls 22m left the opposing team again as they came to halftime with a 15-8 lead.

Faded away

The Lions then enjoyed the perfect start to the second half, attacking from a lineout in the Bulls 22m, swinging the ball back and forth, with Louw bursting through a hole to score, Hendrikse converting for tie the scores after 45 minutes.

However, the home side then faded horribly over the rest of the game as a plethora of silly errors and penalties saw the Bulls pull away, with Smith inflicting three penalties to move them nine points ahead .

The Bulls then closed the door on any possible return to the 73rd minute as they set up a lineout deep inside the Lions’ 22m and powered a big maul with replacement hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels before Morne Steyn added the extras to seal the impressive win.

scorers

Lions: Trials – Francke Horn, Marius Louw; Conversion – Jordan Hendrikse; Penalty – Hendrikse

Bulls: Trials – Marcell Coetzee, Cornal Hendricks, Jan-Hendrik Wessels; Conversions: Chris Smith, Morne Steyn; Penalties: Blacksmith (4)