The Bulls ground out an attritional 19-16 win over the Sharks at Kings Park in Durban in a game that won’t live long in the memory.
The dour contest had few flashpoints in the first half but the Sharks diehards will feel they were unfairly denied a try by a TMO overstretching his remit. The questionable call came early in the contest after the ball bounced on/near the touchline before being spilled by Jesse Kriel and gathered by Makazole Mapimpi. The Sharks went over but the try was disallowed.
The first half would end with the Bulls holding a slender 6-3 off the back off a brace of Handre Pollard penalty goals.
The Sharks started the second half brightly and were rewarded with the first try of the contest scored by Daniel Du Preez but started by the home sides aggressive defense and a strong carry off a lineout by Tendai Mtawarira.
The Sharks enterprise counted for little though when moments later Kriel was unleashed into space by some direct rugby from the Bulls, to retake the lead.
The sides hookers got into a brawl just before the hour mark to reduce both the Sharks and the Bulls to 14 men and no doubt both Akker van der Merwe and Schalk Brits can expect further sanction.
The hosts cut the deficit to two with a Robert du Preez penalty but soon after Pollard hit back for Bulls to make it a five point game with the clock winding down.
Andre Esterhuizen muscled over to level the scores for the Sharks but Robert Du Preez missed out on the chance to give the Sharks the lead.
A late penalty allowed the Bulls to come away with the spoils and prevent the Sharks from moving to the top of the table.
Please allow some time for the blog to load in your browser