| Bulls overcome personal waywardness, Lions resistance to win Rainbow Cup opener

Livewire Lions centre Wandisile Simelane gave the Bulls defence problems. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images) Livewire Lions centre Wandisile Simelane gave the Bulls defence issues. (Picture by Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Pictures)

The Bulls overcame a spirited, if flawed, resistance from the Lions in addition to their very own waywardness to win their Rainbow Cup SA opener by 22-9 at Loftus on Saturday night time.

By all accounts, the consequence would’ve been sewn up far earlier had the hosts not had three tries disallowed following TMO intervention.

Lock Janko Swanepoel’s muscular drive over the road within the latter phases of the primary half was nullified by a knock-on at a earlier ruck by scrumhalf Embrose Papier, whereas a strive for wing Stravino Jacobs was worn out by obstruction from the forwards at a line-out maul after they modified the contact level.

Nonetheless, the cherry on high was the denial of fellow winger Madosh Tambwe’s five-pointer from a skilful Morne Steyn cross-kick as a result of Lions captain and midfielder, Dan Kriel, had the presence of thoughts to make use of his captain’s name to level out a skew throw from one other set-piece.

It was such an apparent indiscretion that one needed to surprise how referee Rasta Rasivenghe missed it.

Nonetheless, he deserved credit score for his diligence on the earlier events.

As a spectacle, this was a match to overlook. The Bulls threatened to overwhelm their inexperienced opponents when flyhalf Chris Smith brilliantly modified his angle on assault in addition to a poor one-on-one sort out to attain within the third minute.

Unexpectedly, it galvanised the Lions, who performed the territorial recreation properly and tried gamely to place a stable Bulls defence below stress.

Whereas that trade introduced two Fred Zeilinga penalties, who was stable if unspectacular on debut at pivot, there was valuable little rhythm and punching energy from their assault.

It meant that they have been by no means in a position to catch as much as a Bulls facet whose dealing with, significantly within the sort out state of affairs, was frustratingly suspect.   

Alternative fullback EW Viljoen’s yellow card for a deliberate knockdown, maybe unsurprisingly, proved the straw that broke the camel’s again. 

Zak Burger, who changed a butterfingered Papier at halfback, was the beneficiary of some fast pondering from a line-out and a superb off-load to determine the match-winning buffer.

The ultimate moments continued to be a seesawing territorial affair earlier than play broke up sufficiently for Elrigh Louw, who was industrious on the blindside for the hosts, to barge over the road and inflate a scoreline that, in all honesty, ought to’ve been extra complete.

Level scorers:

Bulls – (10) 22

Tries: Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Elrigh Louw

Conversions: Smith, Morne Steyn

Penalty: Smith

Lions – (6) 9

Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (3)