The Bulls produced a polished and convincing bonus point victory in Perth which broke their six-year losing streak against the Force in Australia.
It was also the Bulls' second bonus point win of the season after getting their first against the Kings. They were denied crucial try bonus points victories in their earlier games against the Rebels and Reds.
As important a win as it was for Nollis Marais’ men to kick off their three-match Tour of Australia, it was a monumental win in terms of elevating the Bulls into becoming a serious threat in the South African group.
Although the men from Pretoria lie third in the combined log amongst the South African teams with 28 points, they are a solitary point ahead of the second-placed Lions who lead Africa 2 and also a point behind the Stormers, who suffered a heartbreaking last gasp loss to the Waratahs on Saturday in Cape Town.
The Bulls will now have the Brumbies firmly on their radar and with the likes of captain Adriaan Strauss, Springbok centre Jan Serfontein and many of their youngsters showing good form, it might not come as a surprise if the three-time champions end next weekend as the leading South African franchise.
In all the elation of winning their first game in the Antipodes in three years, Marais still believes that his team can be better.
“I must say that I am very happy with the win and how the team managed to play for 80 minutes. I was also pleased with the leadership shown by senior players like Atter (Strauss) and Jan and the rest of the team were inspired by that,” said Marais.
“But we will need to start our preparations for the game against the Brumbies as soon as possible as they will pose a much tougher challenge than the Force.”
The Sharks almost sneaked in their second victory in the Land of the Long White Cloud when they narrowly lost 24-22 against the Chiefs on Friday morning.
The Durbanites again paid the price for not playing enough rugby and an over- reliance on their defence but they made an impression in the second half with long periods of play with ball in hand.
Sharks flyhalf Garth April had another outstanding performance and scored a try just before half-time that will certainly be contender for try of the season.
The Cheetahs came short against the Reds in Brisbane as they lost 30-17 with their valiant efforts being brought to an end by two second half tries by scrumhalf Nick Frisby.
While the Stormers succumbed to the Waratahs courtesy of a Michael Hooper try with two minutes left on the clock and the Lions suffering a heavy 50-17 loss at the hands of the Hurricanes at Ellis Park, the biggest disappointment of the weekend would have been the 73-27 bludgeoning of the Kings by the Jaguares in Argentina.
The Jaguares scored 11 tries as they ended a seven-match losing streak, further condemning the Kings to bottom of the South African group with only a solitary win from their eight matches so far this season. – The Star
Original source: A Super bad weekend for SA teams