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Carling Currie Cup Final – Vodacom Bulls add Currie Cup to their cabinet

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The Vodacom Bulls are Currie Cup Champions again after they beat the Sharks at Loftus on Saturday in extra time to lift the coveted Currie Cup Trophy.

The final was not pretty but then again you finals normally are not pretty and it is never about pretty is about having more points on the board than the other team in 80 minutes or in this case 100 minutes.

If we are honest the Sharks looked for 98% of this game the better side but in the back of my mind there was always the altitude and that final few minutes which the Bulls have scraped through a few times this season.

We were always going to have some kind of drama in this game with the two best sides taking each other on and halfway through the first half the first bit of drama came when Peyper had to take the players off the field due to lightning in the area.

Luckily the game started again and the Sharks came back the better of the two sides scoring the first try through Springbok Nkosi to take a handy 13-9 at the break.

With the scores locked at 19-all after 80 minutes the two teams had to go at it for another 20 minutes of extra time.

It looked at some point that the winner was to be decided by log position before Arno Botha got over minutes before the end of extra time for his second try of the match to seal the win for the Bulls.

It was at the end the team that took their opportunities better but it could have gone the other way as well.

The Sharks got their noses in front with the boot of Curwin Bosch kicking a penalty. Unfortunately Bosch missed 5 out of 10 kicks on the day but it was not a day for the kickers as Steyn and Smith also missed kicks which we normally see them kicking over with their eyes closed.

Both teams made plenty of mistakes and they went for the kicking option most of the time to wait for the other side to make a mistake.

The scrums was also a mess really with plenty of resets due to a wet field but Peyper did manage the scrums well trying not to give to many penalties.

The ball did not really get out to the speedsters and when it did go wide the defence of both sides were very good on the day.

The Sharks had the better start in the second half and it was Bosch again that kicked a monster penalty which extend their lead to seven points.

The Bulls started to get a bit more ball and were better on attack asking some questions from the Sharks on defence.

With the Bulls giving away penalties Bosch extend their lead with 25 minuets to go to 10 points with another penalty.

White them put on his replacements and they made a huge difference with their first try coming form Arno Botha crashing over the line.

Steyn converted the try and it was a three point game with 15 minutes to go.

The Sharks the got the ascendancy in the game and were camping in the Bulls twenty two. They were awarded a penalties which one through should have gone for points but they tried their hand at the driving maul. This was a critical period of the game and the Sharks came away with nothing at the end which most properly cost them the game.

With Steyn being replaced by Smith, the youngster got his name on the scoresheet with a penalty and levelling the scores.

He had a chance to give the home side the win with a last penalty but missed to the left to send the game into extra time.

Bosch had the first opportunity to take the lead in extra time 45 meters out but missed again.

There was not a lot of opportunities in extra time as both teams where stepping up their defence and tried not to give away any penalties.

With minutes remaining the Bulls put the ball through the hands and it was again the big men close to the line that saw Botha going over for his second try of the match and the win for the Bulls.

Smith converted the try and gave the Bulls a 26-19 win to lift the trophy for the first since 2009.

Scorers:

Vodacom Bulls 26 (9) – Tries: Arno Botha (2). Conversions: Morne Steyn, Chris Smith. Penalty goals: Steyn (3), Smith.

Cell C Sharks 19 (13) – Try: Sbu Nkosi. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalty goals: Bosch (4).

 

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