The Vodacom Bulls secured first place in the South African Conference and booked their place in the Vodacom Super Rugby Finals Series with an emphatic win over the Southern Kings at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Saturday’s win over the Southern Kings means that the Vodacom Bulls will be crowned South African Conference champions in a fortnight’s time and will go on to contest their seventh Vodacom Super Rugby playoff match in nine years.
At the same time, Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn became the first player to reach 200 season points when he contributed 16 of the home team’s points, with a personal tally of 212 points, as they moved up to second position on the combined log.
The Vodacom Bulls scored six tries – four of them in the first half – to the two by the Kings, both by flanker Wimpie van der Walt. It was a burst of three tries in five minutes towards the end of the opening 40 minutes which ultimately broke the visitors.
At 31-13 at half-time, the game was basically in the bag for the home team, who set up the victory on the back of a very solid set piece and some enterprising play at the back, especially when they got into the Kings’ half of the field.
The Kings deserve credit though – they never gave up and managed to disrupt the Vodacom Bulls at certain times of the match, but they did make a few crucial mistakes on defence. As it stands, the home team won easily, although the performance was far from perfect.
The Southern Kings now sit at the bottom of the South African conference on 24 points – a scant 2 points ahead of New Zealand’s Highlanders on 22 points.
Top scorer for the Southern Kings, Demetri Catrakilis is in 9th place overall with his tally of 130 points
With one home match to go against the Stormers on Saturday 6 July, the Kings will be hard at work preparing for the two Promotion/Relegation matches that they will play against the Lions. The Stormers will be feeling confident after their win 28-3 win against the Cheetahs this past Saturday.
- Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Louis Fouché, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard, Jacques Potgieter, Deon Stegmann. Conversions: Fouché, Morné Steyn (5). Penalty goals: Steyn (2).
- Southern Kings – Tries: Wimpie van der Walt (2). Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalty goals: Catrakilis (2).
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