Bulls come short again in URC
Treading water for almost the entire match the Bulls were handed their third defeat of their United Rugby Championship tour of Europe yesterday.
In a match punctuated by the whistle of the referee the Bulls' discipline let them down as Edinburgh powered to a position of authority and never looked back in their 17-10 win.
The hosts held a 14-3 lead at the break but they would have been mindful the Bulls successfully scaled a bigger mountain a week ago. The comeback however never materialised.
The home team started like a castle on fire, even exerting pressure in areas where the Bulls might have fancied applying the squeeze. That was particularly apparent at scrum time where Edinburgh held a clear advantage.
Luan de Bruin and former Bull Pierre Schoeman, who has been included in the Scotland squad for their Autumn internationals, inflicted the damage from the start, while WP Nel compounded the visitors' misery after the break.
The hosts also hit the rucks with greater ferocity which helped keep them on the front foot.
Edinburgh, unsurprisingly, comfortably won the aerial battle in the continuous downpour with the Bulls often flummoxed by where the ball would return to terra firma.
Jaco van der Walt pulled the strings at flyhalf for the hosts but it was another South African born player Herny Immelman who opened the scoring.
Mounting penalty count costs errant Bulls
Back pedaling the Bulls at times felt compelled to fall on the wrong side of the law, but on other occasions they were prone to needless folly.
Even the grizzled Bismarck du Plesssis, who had an industrious first half, got hot under the collar and conceded a penalty that cost his team three points not long before the break.
The Bulls however found a life line in the line-out, bravely contesting and poaching some Edinburgh feeds.
On their rare feeds deep inside Edinburgh territory the Bulls' maul looked like a platform of promise but when they had another opportunity to launch close to half-time they chose to hit the midfield without profit.
In that move however Harold Vorster ran hard at the Edinburgh defence and in the resultant ruck Van der Walt stayed down and was forced to leave the field.
By the break the Bulls had conceded nine penalties to the home team's five and the referees' arm kept stretching skyward.
The Bulls however played with greater urgency after the break and eked out metres by adopted a direct approach in attack. Loose forwards Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee and replacement Elrigh Louw were keen ball carriers but the hosts stood firm until the 70th minute.
After sustained attack through their forwards Coetzee barged over after for a converted try to bring his team within four points.
In tune with the flow of the game they failed to collect the resultant kick-off and soon conceded another penalty.
Edinburgh (17) - Try: Henry Immelman. Penalties: Jaco van der Walt (3), Mark Bennett.
Bulls (10) - Try: Marcell Coetzee. Conversion: Morne Steyn. Penalty: Chris Smith.