Bulls Show Promise but Crusaders Break Losing Streak


The Bulls continued their tour of Australasia when they faced the defending champions, the Crusaders in Christchurch. Last time the Bulls won at this venue was back in 1996.


Plus punters will be happy as the +20.5  Bulls handicap we tipped came through as the Crusaders won by 19.

The Bulls held most of the possession in the opening phases as the hosts conceded four penalties. That saw Pollard opt for the corner on every occasion but the Bulls failed to convert their possession of the ball into points. A strategy which Burger Odendaal admits was always their game plan going into the match.

The men from Pretoria were camping in the Crusaders 22 and enjoyed 60% of the possession in the first half but the host's defence held firm to force 10 turnovers from the visitors.

Scott Barrett scored in the 14th minute from a driving maul – scoring the first time the 'Saders entered the Bulls 22. And when Tim Perry was sin-binned for a yellow card on Pierre Schoeman, Codie Taylor scored two minutes later after another lineout call by the Bulls turned into an opportunity for the hosts as play swung from one 22 to the other.

The Bulls finally got on the board at the half-hour mark when Travis Ismael received a pass from Papier from the base of the scrum and the winger scored after a 23-metre run, Pollard converted. But
the Bulls were hit with another try at the stroke of the half from Jack Goodhue.

First Half Stats

Crusaders

Bulls
40
Possesion
60
39
Territory
61
1:29
Time in Opposition 22
3:14
9
Missed Tackles
4
6
Turnovers Conceded
10
4
Handling Errors
3
6
Penalties Conceded
1
2
Offloads
3
1
Linebreaks
1
0
7 + Phases
5

At the restart, Goodhue got his double at the 49th minute after another lineout and maul in the Bulls 22.  The match saw no real action for the next 20 minutes and the hosts were caught napping and Marco van Staden stood up from a tackle and raced to score under the sticks.
  
At the closing stages, George Bridge scored the Crusaders fifth and final try after Hunt kicked a cross kick which Mataele kept in play for Bridge to score.

33 – 14 it ended to the Crusaders.

The Bulls are improving as the campaign continues with sparks of some great running rugby, but their execution is letting them down. They dominated possession, spent more time in the 'Saders 22, but failed to convert any of that into tries. I’d say next season we’ll see a team ready to contest for the title. 

Scorers

Crusaders 
Tries – Barrett, Taylor, Goodhue (2), Bridge
Con – Hunt (4)
Cards – Yellow (Perry, 27th’)

Bulls
Tries – Ismaiel, Van Staden
Con – Pollard (2)


Match Officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2: Richard Kely
TMO: Aaron Paterson

Teams

Crusaders

15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8, Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Braydon Ennor,

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze.

Writtern by Lungelo Mdladla for Hollywoodbets

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