The Bulls produced a dominant first half, and then held enough aces in the second to seal a 16-12 win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
After a blistering start, which saw them run out to a 13-0 lead, the Bulls used many of their substitutes and struggled with form and the growing confidence of the Kings pack to eventually hold out for the win.
While the Bulls will say there was nothing in the result, the fact that they lost the corresponding fixture last season with an equally young team certainly made for motivation.
With captain and lock Wilhelm Steenkamp in fine form, the Bulls did enough too win, although there were several reminders why this was their first hit out for the year.
The Pretoria side opened the scoring through a drop goal from Louis Fouche, and was quickly followed by a try from Free State signing Jean Cook.
Sampie Mastriet added another, thanks to a great pass by Lionel Cronje to give the Bulls an early 13-0 lead.
The Bulls made a defensive error shortly before halftime to let Mzwandile Stick in for a try, going into the break 13-7 up.
In the second half they suffered for their indiscipline at the hands of referee Stuart Berry, and the Kings took their opportunity.
Another Fouche penalty stretched the lead but it wasn’t long before the Kings pack rumbled over the line for a lineout drive try, claimed by their captain Luke Watson.
The Bulls had enough in the end to win, and this will be all that counts in their book, as the match provided enough decent gametime for their young and upcoming pack.
Article source: http://www.supersport.com/rugby/article.aspx?Id=1231351