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Bulls Smash Highlanders For First Win

  • 3 min read

The Bulls recorded their first win of the season when they smashed the Highlanders 38-13 in Pretoria on Saturday.

After going into the break 5-10 down, the Bulls put in a commanding second-half performance with the help of Rosko Specman’s three tries.

The Bulls scored six tries in the game with the Highlanders only managing cross the whitewash once, which was in the first half.

After dominating territory and position, the Highlanders finally opened the scoring in the 10th minute with Josh Ioane running in for an easy try after great interplay. Ioane was also successful with the conversion

However, it did not take long for the Bulls to hit back when Jaco Visagie found his way over the tryline after a powerful driving maul.

Manie Libbok was unable to convert the try.

There was plenty of attacking play shown by both teams, but there were also some wasted opportunities. A penalty from Ioane was the only other points in a scrappy first half.

At half-time, it was 10-5 in the Highlanders’ favour.

The Highlanders extended their lead with another three-pointer from Ioane in the 43rd minute.

The Bulls needed to be the next to score and they did when Warrick Gelant eased through the Highlanders’ defence for a try after sustained pressure in the visitors’ 22.

Libbok added the extra two points with the conversion to make it a one-point game.

The Bulls then found themselves in front in the 56th minute when Specman found his way over the tryline after several phases in the build-up. Libbok was successful with the conversion.

Things got better for the Bulls a few minutes later when some great interplay out wide saw Specman sprint away for his second try of the game.

Another two-pointer from Libbok saw the Bulls go into the final 18 minutes with a comfortable 13-point lead.

Specman completed his hat-trick win the 72nd minute after some more great passing saw the wing go over the in the corner. Steyn added the extras with the conversion.

The final nail was in the coffin when Cornal Hendricks picked up a loose ball to run in for his team’s final try.

Man of the match: Warrick Gelant had a fantastic game out wide, but the award goes to Rosko Specman for his three tries in the second half.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: Visagie, Gelant, Specman 3, Hendricks
Cons: Libbok 3, Steyn

For Highlanders:
Try: Ioane
Con: Ioane
Pens: Ioane 2


Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Trevor Nyakane (captain), 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenkamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ryno Pieterse, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Highlanders: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Ngane Punivai, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 4 Jesse Parete, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Teihorangi Walden, 23 Tima Fainga’anuku

Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)