Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2019 Match Report – Bulls thrash Stormers at Loftus

Match Report – Bulls thrash Stormers at Loftus


The Bulls thrashed the Stormers 40-3 in their Super Rugby Round One encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. Pote Human’s side ran in four tries without reply, picking up the bonus point in the process.

It started with lineouts. It developed with decisive defence and it cashed in on brilliance.

The match started late, because the Stormers were delayed by an accident on the N1. They perhaps would have preferred the delay to last much, much longer, but they did not make the delay an excuse.

At half-time, the Bulls were leading 21-3. Five minutes into the second half it was 28-3 – four tries, a bonus point and the near certainty of victory. And so they sat back, ensured that the Stormers were not going to get close to scoring, kicked penalties at goal and stayed calm.

In that first half the Stormers had better chances of getting usable possession. The penalty count  was 7-1 in their favour, they had 11 lineouts to six and four scrums to one.  But they scored no tries, while the Bulls raced away with three.

There are two major aspects to rugby – attack and defence. The Bulls won the defence hands down. Their tackling was swift and precise. The Stormers had times when they went through jittery phases but they were phases of defeat, for they could not advance. The Bulls made in the region of 130 tackles and missed 10. That already is a winning performance.

Then they turned four moments of brilliance into tries – two from far out by electric Rosko Specman, one from far out by Johnny Kotze and the third from a perfect, delicate chip. Four brilliant tries.

Specman had  firsts all right. He was playing his first-ever Super Rugby match. From his first touch in his first match he scored his first try.

For the only time in the match, the Bulls’ handling was fragile. The ball was bobbing around till Jesse Kriel passed to Specman near the touchline on his left. The little man with the blue and white dreadlocks stepped inside, beating Dillyn Leyds, and then he sped past Wilco Louw and raced some 40 metres straight down to the goal posts, and the Bulls led 7-0 after just 5 minutes.

After the Bulls had been penalised five times in the first 10 minutes of the match, SP Marais goaled the penalty against Schalk Brits and the score was 7-3. There was no sign that the Stormers would not score again in the match while the Bulls would score 33 points.

The lineouts were a massive problem for the Stormers. They would kick a penalty for touch and then lose the lineout to Lood de Jager and his cunning band, and once they threw in skew.

The Bulls were going left when Warrick Gelant – at fullback but much more than that – turned a little pass inside to Specman  and away he scampered, more than 40 metres, to the posts. 14-3 after 18 minutes.

Jason Jenkins of the Bulls won a lineout on their left and they went right. Brits had a clever entry and gave to Kriel who passed to right wing Kotze who had an overlap. He raced away for a try far out on the right. Handré Pollard converted 21-3 after 24 minutes.

Just after this the Stormers lost their captain, Siya Kolisi who was taken off for a head injury assessment, from which he did not return to play.

It was obvious at half-time that the calmly efficient Bulls were going to win. But they wanted a bonus point and earned it after five minuets in a delicious way.

Pollard lay back and chipped a little chip over the Stormers defenders. Kriel ran through, caught the ball on the full and raced to the posts. 28-3.

The only scores in the next 35 minutes were three long-range penalties by Pollard.

It was an outstanding Bulls’ victory.

*It was not the biggest Bulls’ victory over the Stormers. That was in 2005 when the Bulls won 75-14 at Loftus Versfeld.

For Bulls:
Tries: Specman 2, Kotze, Kriel
Cons: Pollard 4
Pens: Pollard 4

For Stormers:
Pen: Marais


Comment Here


  1. 2nd try he got up without releasing the ball. Should have been a penalty to the Stormers.

    3rf try had a pretty dodgy interference run by Galant.

  2. @Jacques Nortier: I know they often allow it, but there is nothing legitimate about a held in the tackle player getting up with the ball.

    That is.
    It is specifically prohibited by the laws of the game.

  3. @Timeo: Agree on this one – and it was clear from the good tackle from Vermaak, who held him all the way. But Stormers were clue-less at this stage and were never going to challenge anything from the ref.
    First try: Watch how JJ is completely out of position and then falls over his own player.
    Third try: Watch how SP is completely out of position, allowing the overlap.
    Last try: Watch how Leyds is completely out of position, allowing unchallenged run from Jesse.
    Line-outs: Watch how they select Moegoe Moerat, but then he is NOT used as a jumper in the line-out. Instead they use Kolisi, who cannot catch anything.
    Basic errors, indicating (1) poor selection and (2) pathetic coaching / discipline.

  4. @Bekke: I also said many times – PsdT is NOT the sharpest pencil in the squad, and must NOT call the lineouts. Our issues at the Boks also started when he started to make the calls – rather give the call to a loose forward then.

  5. @Bekke: No way this is PSTD fault, Bongi is and has been useless for a long time in lineouts….

    The fact that they had a new lock pair did not help but this is all on Bongi and Fleck who went with this team.

    Should have started with Scarra Chris van Zyl. If you combined the useless brain trust in the coaching bench with some players on the field you get the result you got.

    And it all started with the Fat Clown and his replacements and clubs, nothing will change if they do not change at WP rugby first, so get used to scores like this

    Bunch of amateurs

  6. I have thrown-in in lineouts for the bulk of my rugby career, and it is 100% the fault of [hooker] + [locks] + [calls on place and type of throw].
    Bongi is shit with throws – so is Marx – we know that.
    How they can decide to let Kolisi jump on 2 in the lineout is beyond me – but in the end Kolisi did mess up 2 straight throws to him. And then Moegoe Moerat gave away the throws with his way to early stupid “decoy moves” – as if anybody would expect a throw on him!!!!
    And then you adapt – not once did they call for short lineout, or throw at the back – which is 100% on PsdT. Yes, the coaches fuck up (but we would expect that after 3 seasons with Fleck, and with masters like Russel Winter!), but execution is on the field with the players.

  7. @Bekke: I agree with you. As much as bongi is to blame, PSDT can’t call line outs at all. Mosterd was not available for the match against Eng last year and I think PSDT took over the line outs for that game and Marx couldn’t hit a line out. Same this weekend. Its as if he wanted us to take the stormers line out

  8. @Bekke: Throw at the back? Safe ball is two, you can almost do nothing with it but safe ball.

    All you describe was gameplay which is firstly coach, then secondly the idiots could not execute. The Problem with Stormers is they have one plan, and if that fails they have nothing, PSDT may have made the calls and also could not see to change things up but I am sure all of you who had played the game know when you 21-3 behind all logic goes out of the door and you become desperate.

    Played hooker all my life and crooked throw is on hooker. Jumpers start the sequens and hookers timing needs to be spot on to find them, not the other way around.

    You can call what you want but if you have a dot like Bongi that after all these years can not find 2 meter players then you have a problem.

    The fact remains Fleck and his team where outcoached by Pote and there is no bigger insult to a coach and his team.

    Even to story about the jerseys is so unprofessional. After the match he was asked why did they not wear the SH outfits, and his response where he is not HR.

    Stormers is a franchise in denial and their supporters even worst. If you like the Kings then you fine because that is were WP Rugby is heading.

  9. @Jacques Nortier: Nuances different nowadays. For example, the call determines the type of throw – hard, or lobbed, jumper coming forward or going backwards. When Kolisi went off, Stormers had only 1 option: At the middle – which Lood expertly exploited. When the reserve lock and Scarra came on after 52 minutes, they suddenly had options again (e.g. even the quick throw to Vermaak at the front), and suddenly Stormers were winning near 90% of their lineouts. Stormers need to select proper locks and Jaco Coetzee on the side (and get rid of the Notshe and Moerat experiments). They also have to give calls to Chris. Unfortunately they cannot do anything to Bongi…

  10. @Aldo: Agree, this is the value Victor brought to the Boks (he could adjust and was excellent in reading opposition). I am not sure why modern teams choose to get the 5 lock to do the calls – in the 80s and 90s this role was mostly played by the 8thman (or captain if he was another loosie like Francois Pienaar).

  11. @Bekke: At university we even had 3 people calling signs – 8th man, hooker and scrumhalve! While only the call of the 8th man was binding, my call (as hooker!) was the most entertaining – containing multiple “moves” from contemporary movies!

  12. The best place to throw is where there is no opposition.

    I have taken a very important decision – Untill Wakefield (Most Important) and Fleck is gone I will be supporting the Bulls. Schalk Brits who I rate very highly is playing there and Vermeulen as well. So I will be changing my name to Methos the French Bull soon…


  13. Bekke and Jacques

    Lineout calling systems is something I find very interesting. Please explain systems that you have used.

    The guys that played in the backline – please skip ahead to the next post – this is WAYYY to complicated for the likes of you.

    Here is some that I worked with in my rugby travels.

    1.) You choose a number beteween 1 and 10 before the game. Say for example 4. Then the announcer would shout 2, 8 ,4 , 3. Because the number 4 was in the 3’rd position in the line of number the ball would be thrown to the 3’rd jumper. If the call was 4, 3, 5, 8 ball would be going to the first jumper etc.

    Variations on this would be in the first lineout 1 would be used 2’nd lineout 2 and so on.

    2.) The key number – we say that the 3’rd number in the sequence defines where the throw goes. OneThousandFourHundredandFIFTYSix 1456 The ball is going to the 5’th jumper.

    3.) ABCD etc
    Easiest one to counter. I never used it but stumbled across it here in France. 189162962912 Brive – B – ball is going to second jumper.

    We had other variations as well. Just can’t remember them all now!

    One was that on the pavillion side of the field the first number would define the throw, on the other side the last number.

    Then how the ball would be thrown…

    Any car name for a fast ball, a beer make for a dummy 2 steps back and the jump, strong alcohol for A dummy 2 steps back and 2 steps forward and then jump etc.

    1 for quick ball, 2 for Dummy and then jump, 3 for Dummy 2 steps back and then jump, 4 for Dummy, 2 steps back and then 2 forward and then jump, 5 for dummy, 2 steps back, dummy jump and 2 more steps and then jump etc etc etc.

    Tell us about your systems.

    The best one ever was the one we used at school. 102354869 and a girl’s name. If the girls was in Matric front ball, girl in Std 9 middle ball and Std 8 back ball. Worked awesome.


  14. @Methos The French Stormer: The best one ever was the one we used at school. 102354869 and a girl’s name. If the girls was in Matric front ball, girl in Std 9 middle ball and Std 8 back ball. Worked awesome.

    Classic drinks

    We would change every week…..1-1000 on the last number would have been drive, 1001 to 2000 front quick ball, 2001 to 3000 middle drive ball, 3001 to 4000 middle quick ball, 4001 to 5000 back

    We also had names later on, animals and girls name with any number front, animal only middle and animal and car name back

    The one’s I can remember

  15. @Methos The French Stormer: Certainly some interesting combinations there – and way too complicated for the average front-rower to remember! Our tried and tested one was a combination of yours:
    * Select the number to use (i.e. first, second, or last) + select the person whose call would be valid
    * If it’s even – front. if odd – middle. if a zero (i.e. 10, 130) – back.
    * Add some decoy kak – if it contains a name of a forward, then it means we will drive and not let go to backline.
    Of course, you also decided during the match to switch the number, if the opposition has spotted it.
    In the army we sometimes just used the nickname / town of the relevant receiver, as the opposition were miners and SAP up in the Transvaal – and way too boneheaded to spot the trend!
    In primary school some opposition teams used the scrumhalve to signal – hands on knees = in front; hands on hips = middle; hands behind head = back. This was way too easy to spot, as the everybody will look at the scrummy before any throw!

  16. @Bekke: And we did not have too many variations on the throws. 2 = hard and fast (to prevent opposition to jump in front of you); 4 = lob just behind his back (so opposition have to go REALLY high to catch, while you catch it on the way down); at the back = always a step of 2 further, so that 8th man can either play inside to runner, or outside to centre, or run unto opposition flyhalve to pull him in.

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