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Van der Merwe's heroics silence the Twickenham masses

A try for the ages lights up a thrilling opening weekend of Six Nations rugby as Scotland, Ireland and France register away wins

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Bulls show ruthless streak before Ospreys grab a crumb of comfort

By PA
(Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Winger David Kriel scored a brace of tries as the Bulls claimed a 43-26 home win over Ospreys in the United Rugby Championship. The Bulls showed their ruthless streak as they ran in seven tries but the Ospreys managed to claim a bonus point as Rhys Henry went over for their fourth try late in the game.

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After a cagey opening, the Bulls took advantage of their first visit into the Ospreys half in the sixth minute. They won a lineout just outside the Ospreys’ 22 and quick hands through the backs gave Kriel space out wide on the right to touch down.

Their dominance was rewarded again six minutes later when flanker Nizaam Carr popped up on the right wing to beat two would-be Welsh tacklers to make it 12-0. It was a lineout again that proved to be the base for another clinical Bulls move as full-back Wandisile Simelane cut through the Ospreys midfield before the ball found its way to overlapping flanker WJ Steenkamp, who easily went over in the left corner.

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Ospreys got themselves back into the game with an incisive move down the right wing. Keiran Williams broke through two tackles before moving the ball back inside to fly-half Jack Walsh to touch down under the posts and give himself an easy conversion.

Bulls almost hit back immediately as Simelane broke through three tackles but was held up over the line by desperate Ospreys defending. However, the hosts were not to be denied claiming the bonus point.

Kriel seized on a loose ball from a ruck and passed inside to Lionel Mapoe, who drew in the Ospreys defence before a sublime offload sent Kriel in for his second try and an easy conversion for Chris Smith in front of the posts. Ospreys were rewarded three minutes before the break after a spell of pressure deep in the Bulls half as Walsh’s chip through was seized on by Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler to touch down. Elrigh Louw then burrowed his way over as the Bulls finished the half strongly.

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Ospreys battled in the second half and were rewarded as Williams twisted his way out of a tackle to score midway through the half. The dominant hosts, though, wrapped it up ten minutes from the end as a quick break resulted in scrum-half Zak Burger setting up Ruan Nortje to power over.

Ospreys did manage to get a bonus point from a fourth try as Henry crossed after a scrum win but the Bulls responded with a late try from Burger confirming their dominance.

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