Durban – The Bulls delivered a vastly superior performance to clinch an impressive 40-10 bonus-point Super Rugby win over the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday.
Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant will deservedly grab the headlines after scoring a hat-trick of tries to set the tone for the visitor’s victory, but it was really the forwards who laid a powerful foundation up front.
#SuperRugby - RESULT:— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) April 14, 2018
Sharks 10-40 Bulls
Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick as the Bulls went on to claim a bonus point win in an impressive performance away from home.#SSRugby pic.twitter.com/9cp14kNjdu
The Pretoria-based side was dominant at scrum time, while their outstanding defence prevented the Sharks from achieving any real go-forward momentum.
With the Bulls duly nullifying the strengths of the Sharks, they were able to comprehensively claim a victory that sees them climb to third place in the South African conference (level on log points with the Durbanites), but it’s the Lions that remain 11 points clear in the local standings.
The Bulls quite simply could not have scripted a better start to this clash, with a perfectly weighted chip from Handré Pollard setting up an early try for Warrick Gelant after the visitors had dominated possession during the early exchanges.
Gelant was at it again in the eighth minute when a superb counter-attack from the Bulls culminated with the fullback collecting his own grubber ahead to score and suddenly send his side into a 14-3 lead.
Having just returned from a four-week tour to Australasia, the Sharks gave the impression of a team struggling with fatigue, and things only got worse when Adriaan Strauss barrelled over from a driving lineout to send the Bulls further ahead in the 25th minute.
With the Bulls fronting up impressively, the Sharks were simply unable to gain any real go-forward, but big centre Andre Esterhuizen eventually provided just that when he showed immense strength to power over the tryline from close range.
That try cut the deficit to 11 points at the break, but the Bulls quickly restored their 18-point advantage when they were awarded a penalty try soon after the restart. To make matters worse for the Sharks, Thomas du Toit was sent to the sin bin.
That score killed off any fight from the Sharks, which was reflected in the fact that they conceded two more late tries when Gelant and Johnny Kötze dotted down to ensure the scoreline would look particularly embarrassing for the hosts.
African News Agency