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Bulls stomp over Zebre with comprehensive defeat at Ellis Park

Athenkosi Tsotsi Sports Reporter
Daniel Kriel of the Bulls with the ball during the United Rugby Championship match between Vodacom Bulls and Zebre Parma at Emirates Airline Park on April 15, 2023 in Johannesburg.
Daniel Kriel of the Bulls with the ball during the United Rugby Championship match between Vodacom Bulls and Zebre Parma at Emirates Airline Park on April 15, 2023 in Johannesburg.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

Jake White's Bulls side continues to build their winning momentum following a comprehensive 78-12 win over Zebre in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday at Ellis Park.

The Bulls are now on a run of three successive wins in all competitions. Before the two wins in the Currie Cup and Saturday's victory, the Bulls had lost a staggering ten matches on the spin.

The win for the Bulls took them to sixth place on the URC log with 48 points.

The game between the Bulls against Zebre served as the opening act on the doubleheader weekend at Ellis Park, with the Bulls being the home team. The Bulls played in front of a decent crowd who were awaiting the main game at 4pm between the Lions and Leinster.

Focusing on the match, even though Zebre tried to make it a contest, the Bulls ran rampant, completely dominating them in the collusions, set pieces and camping in their half. The Bulls played with intensity as they did not show any signs of underestimating their opponent.

What stood out from the Bulls was the bite they had in their attack, they moved the ball swiftly through their hands, and their backs were involved in almost all their attacking phases. The team always tried the tactic of cross-field kicks into open space, this is something that looked like they worked on the training ground.

The Bulls in the attack were clinical, they scored five tries in the opening stanza through Canan Moodie (2), Embrose Papier (2), and Ruan Vermaak. Zebre got their only five points of the half via South African Richard Kriel. Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen kicked in eight conversion points and three from a penalty before the stroke of halftime, making the score 36 - 5 at the break. 

In the second half, the Bulls picked up where they left off. They got the half-opening points through a converted try by Gerhard Steenekamp. Zebre refused to take the beating without a fight, they crossed the white line through replacement scrumhalf Chris Cook with Tiff Eden adding the extra two points to make the score 43-12. 

The Bulls then entered the 50-point mark with converted tries from Vermaak and  Moodie, giving last year's URC finalist a score of 57 -12 with ten minutes left. As Zebre thought the torture would be over, the Bulls proved to be ruthless as they scored three converted tries from Marco van Staden, Bismarck du Plessis, and Chris Smith. The score at full-time was 78-12.

Bulls scorers

Try: Canan Moodie (3), Embrose Papier (2), Ruan Vermaak (2), Gerhard Steenekamp, Marco van Staden, Bismarck du Plessis,Chris Smith  

Conversion: Johan Goosen (9), Chris Smith

Penalty: Johan Goosen

Zebre: 

Try: Richard Kriel, Chris Cook

Conversion: Tiff Eden

 

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