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Bulls sweating over World Cup winning Bok's injury

By Jan De Koning
Michael Milne of Leinster celebrates after scoring his side's fourth try during the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Vodacom Bulls at the RDS Arena in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Bulls are counting the cost of their humbling 14-47 loss to Leinster in a United Rugby Championship outing at the RDS Arena in Dublin this past Friday.

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The Irish powerhouse, Leinster, made a serious statement of intent with the comprehensive win.

The game was billed as the tournament’s No.1 (Leinster) against No.2 (Bulls).

However, after a competitive first half – with the visitors leading 14-12 at the break – the hosts turned the second half into a one-horse race.

Five unanswered tries saw the Irish province race clear and put daylight between then and their nearest rivals on the standings.

Video Spacer

Jake White gives an injury update after the Bulls’ loss to Leinster

Video Spacer

Jake White gives an injury update after the Bulls’ loss to Leinster

Leinster (54 points) are at least two wins ahead of the Bulls (45) – who are unlikely to keep their second place as the rest of Round 13 plays out.

United Rugby Championship

P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Leinster
13
11
2
0
54
2
Bulls
13
9
4
0
45
3
Glasgow
12
9
3
0
44
4
Munster
12
7
4
1
39
5
Stormers
12
7
5
0
35
6
Edinburgh
12
8
4
0
34
7
Ulster
12
7
5
0
34
8
Lions
12
6
6
0
34
9
Connacht
12
7
5
0
33
10
Benetton
12
7
4
1
33
11
Ospreys
12
6
6
0
30
12
Cardiff Rugby
12
3
8
1
23
13
Scarlets
12
3
9
0
16
14
Gwent Dragons
13
3
10
0
15
15
Zebre
13
1
11
1
15
16
Sharks
12
2
10
0
14

To make matters worse, the Bulls suffered a potentially serious setback ahead of next week’s Round of 16 face-off against Lyon Olympique Universitaire in Pretoria.

At the end of the first quarter in Dublin on Friday, World Cup-winning Springbok Marco van Staden was replaced by Mpilo Gumede.

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White said the 28-year-old injured his Medial Collateral Ligament.

However, he does not feel it was too serious.

“I took him off, because I need him for the rest of the season,” the Bulls boss said.

“I did not want him to do more damage.

“I know and MCL is not as bad as the other ligaments.

“However, he is very important for us and the Springboks going forward.

“We want to get him ready [to play again] sooner, rather than later.”

Points Flow Chart

Leinster win +33
Time in lead
58
Mins in lead
16
72%
% Of Game In Lead
20%
62%
Possession Last 10 min
38%
7
Points Last 10 min
0

Looking back at the game itself, the Bulls boss parroted a statement he has made several times this past week to the South African media: “Leinster is probably the best club [provincial] team in this competition and has been for a long time.”

White pointed out, as he has done before, that the Bulls “require time” to build a team with the experience and depth that Leinster put on display at the RDS this past Friday.

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“It is something we have to look at – how we will get to where we need to get to, to compete with these top sides every week,” he added.

Jack Conan was one of five second-half try scorers for Leinster in a dominant win.

This top-of-the-table clash was of Test match quality at times, with Leo Cullen’s men now nine points clear at the summit.

Johan Goosen impressed with three penalties and a try assist as the Bulls led 14-12 at half-time.

Leinster captain Luke McGrath was sin-binned for a high tackle on try scorer Kurt-Lee Arendse.

However, having touched down initially through Josh van der Flier and Ronan Kelleher, the home side secured their bonus point by the 48th minute.

James Lowe and replacement Michael Milne did the damage, with Dan Sheehan, Conan and Liam Turner adding further tries past the hour mark.

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