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Bulls take over 4 hours to beat Griffons

By Jan De Koning
Chris Smith of the Vodacom Bulls during the Currie Cup, Premier Division match between Vodacom Bulls and NovaVit Griffons at Loftus Versfeld on June 02, 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Rynners/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Bulls overcame a three-hour delay as a result of a power failure to record a bonus-point (64-33) win over the Griffons in Pretoria on Friday.


The 10 tries to four points-feast at Loftus Versfeld saw the Bulls move into the top four on the standings, although the Lions could overtake them on Saturday.

The power failure – late in the first half, with the Bulls leading 21-11 – was the result of a sub-station failure in the Pretoria CBD area, affecting the power supply to neighbouring areas, which included Sunnyside.

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They did have a generator in the stadium, but that tripped due to overheating.

Technicians on site eventually restarted the generator and the game resumed almost three hours later.

The Bulls got off to the perfect start – great hands by the Bulls leading to a try for David Kriel. Johan Goosen added the conversion and Jaywinn Juries opened with a penalty for the Griffons to make it 7-3 after 10 minutes.

Towards the end of the first quarter Stedman Gans picked up from the base of the ruck to score a second try for the home team.

Moments later Duan Pretorius picked up from the base of a ruck to score a try for the visitors.


A wonderful passing move by Blue Bulls saw Nizaam Carr scoring the home team’s third try.

Juries kicked a second penalty for the Griffons on the half-hour mark, before the power failure stopped the game with the score at 11-21.

Almost immediately after the restart, three hours later, it was Duan Pretorius who score a second try for the visitors. Juries added the conversion – 18-21.

The Bulls did not waste any time – a chip-and-chase by Cornal Hendricks got the Bulls their bonus-point try. Goosen failed the conversion attempt as the teams went into shortened (one-minute) half-time break with the home team leading 26-18.


Again the Griffons scored first after the restart, a Juries penalty – 21-26.

The Bulls responded with a powerful maul try, Marcell Coetzee getting the armchair ride. Goosen added the conversion – 33-21.

A pinpoint kick then enabled David Kriel to score his second and the team’s sixth try. Goosen was wide with the conversion – 38-21.

Hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels produced a sublime grubber, for Embrose Papier to collect and score. Goosen’s conversion made it 45-21.

That was followed by another powerful maul and a second try by Coetzee and quick hands allowed Kriel to race over for his hat-trick try – 57-21.

However, the Griffons were awarded a penalty try and Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee was sent to the sin bin for the rest of the match after he cynically collapsed a maul near his own line.

Dandre Delport was then at the back of a powerful Griffons maul.

The Bulls finished with a Mornay Smith try to make the final score 64-33.

Bulls vs Griffons – stats

The scorers
For the Bulls
Tries: Kriel 3, Gans, Carr, Hendricks, Coetzee 2, Papier, M Smith
Cons: Goosen 7

For the Griffons
Tries: Pretorius 2, Penalty try, Delport
Cons: Juries, penalty try does not require a conversion
Pens: Juries 3

Yellow card: Marcell Coetzee (Bulls, 72 – cynical foul, illegally collapsing maul near tryline)


Bulls: 15 Johan Goosen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Chris Barend Smit, 11 David Kriel, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Francois Klopper, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Simphiwe Matanzima, 17 Joe van Zyl, 18 Mornay Smith, 19 Reinhardt Ludwig, 20 Mihlali Mosi, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Sibongile Novuka, 23 Wandisile Simelane.

Griffons: 15 Duan Pretorius, 14 Domenic Smit, 13 Carel-Jan Coetzee, 12 Marquit September, 11 Randy Fielies, 10 Robbie Petzer, 9 Jaywinn Juries, 8 Sokuphumla Xakalashe, 7 Thomas Ongera, 6 Thato Mavundla, 5 Michael Benadie, 4 Rian Olivier, 3 Doctor Booysen, 2 Hendrik van Schoor, 1 Xolani Jacobs.
Replacements – from: 16 Dandre Delport, 17 Stephan de Jager, 18 Buhle Nojekwa, 19 Wikus Nieuwenhuis, 20 Ludio Williams, 21 Jean Pretorius, 22 Keanu Vers, 23 Duren Hoffman, 24 Curtly Thomas, 25 Chadley Wenn, 26 Ethan Williams.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Christopher Allison Phumzile Mbewu
TMO: AM Jacobs


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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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FEATURE Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it