The Bulls bench at the end pulled them through a hard-fought contest at Loftus on Saturday.
The teams was evenly match and were only able to start pulling away from the Lions when their bench started to come on in the second half.
They added two more tries to eventually beat the Lions 24-9.
The Bulls started the match with a bang and it did not tooling for them to get the scoreboard ticking over. Smith was the first man over after they broke the Lions defence.
That gave the Bulls a 7-0 lead.
The Lions slowly got into the game and two penalties from Fred Zeilinga made it a one point game after 23 minutes.
The Bulls came back at the Lions opted for a line out rather than going for points but was unable to hang on to the ball giving the Lions an easy exit from their red zone.
After sustain pressure from the Bulls they got Swanepoel over the line for their second try of the game but after a TMO review a knocked on from Papier was spotted which overturned the try giving the Lions again some breathing space.
Both teams had enough opportunities to get some more tries but handling and poor decision making on attack prevent any more points in the first half.
The teams went into the break with the Bulls leading the Lions 10-6.
The second half both teams found the conditions challenging. The Lions had the early dominance in the second half but could not get pass the Bulls defence.
Fred Zeilinga had a couple of opportunities at poles but also could not add more than the one penalty to make it a one point game.
Discipline from the Lions started costing them with the referee dishing out a lot of penalties against the Lions in the red zone. That saw EW Viljoen being send to the bin with 20 minutes to go.
After a few phases from the big men off the Bulls they finally created an overlap for Stravino Jacobs to go over in the corner but the try was overturned by the TMO for obstruction at the Bulls maul.
The Bulls finally got the try when Burger found space through the Lions defence to get over for the first try of the second half. Steyn converted the try which gave the home side a 17-9 lead.
The Bulls stayed in the Lions half of the field and a death touch from Morne Steyn kicking for the Madosh Tambwe worked perfectly as the winger going over.
But before the Bulls could celebrate the captains challenge came into play where the TMO found that throw-in was not straight which overturned the on-field try.
The Bulls really stepped up with their bench in the final quarter of the match dominating play on attack and keeping the Lions pinned in their own half.
The Bulls with a great scrum got forward momentum and got Elrigh Louw over the line for their third try of the match. Steyn converted to give the Bulls a 24-9 win in the first round of the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA
Bulls: Tries – Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Elrigh Louw Conversions – Chris Smith, Morne Steyn(2) Penalties – Chris Smith
Lions: Penalties – Fred Zeilinga(3)
|May 1, 2021||6:55 pm||Rainbow Cup 2021||Rainbow Cup 2021||90'|