Jano Venter of Blue Bulls is tackled by AJ le Roux of Griquas during the Currie Cup Rugby match on September 1 2017 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Tries in the 64th minute and the 66th helped extricate the Blue Bulls out of a hole bigger than the nearby one that made Kimberley famous.

First flank and man of the match Jano Venter burst through a midfield gap and raced to the tryline despite a desperate last gasp tackle.

Two minutes later in the 66th minute replacement scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl ran into the clear after a smart offload by Duncan Matthews to help hand the Blue Bulls a 10-point lead with 10 minutes left.

That should have been the job done but this was a manic helter skelter match in which fortunes fluctuated wildly.

The Griquas fullback AJ Coertzen crossed the tryline with five minutes to go to set up a nail biting climax.

The Blue Bulls however held on and with it kept their title aspirations alive, just. Griquas’ Currie Cup race is well and truly run.

They did however contribute to a marvelously entertaining match in which both defences at times abdicated responsibility.

It was a first half of, well, two halves. First the Blue Bulls were in the ascendancy, smartly mixing up their play.

They explored the periphery and made inroads, but it was their ability to go the direct route that had the home team back pedaling.

Their driving mail, such an effective tool under the tutelage of coach Pote Human was deployed and it yielded stunning results.

The Blue Bulls crosses the tryline four times within the opening half hour but then the hosts sparked to life.

They too played with width but they were equally effective at close quarters.It was from a driving maul on the cusp of halftime that they earned a penalty try to catapult them back into the contest.

They shot into the lead after the break but the Bulls, tellingly struck some blows when it mattered.

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