By: Jacques Nortier




The Blue Bulls had to fight hard to get a win over the Free State Cheetahs on Friday night when they beat them 24-17 in Pretoria.



The Blue Bulls were defending most of the first half of the match as the Cheetahs were running the ball from everywhere on the field. Some would have say they were running the ball, did all the work but got nowhere as the Blue Bulls defense hold them out for the better part of the half.

The Bulls too the field with a more territorial approach in their game plan but execute it brilliantly and were able to score the first try of the match as well through some brilliant interplay again from there exciting backs.

Unnecessary penalties gave the Blue Bulls also some opportunities to kick for points.

The Cheetahs were also given a yellow card for a late tackle on Hougaard which was silly but got over the Blue Bulls line finally to score there opening points just before half time.

The Blue Bulls went into the break 11-7 in front.

The Cheetahs kept attacking after the break and made all the play as in the first half. The Blue Bulls were living of scraps and only attack from turnover ball.

One must credit the Blue Bulls defense and the way they close the space for the Cheetahs and keep them out. They also took the little changes they got their way and score points to keep ahead of the Cheetahs.

There was yet again some controversy from another TMO decision but it had little effect as the Cheetahs did score just after the try was disallowed.

Serfontein came on in the second half to get his school days centre partner Swanepoel on the field next to him and they cause some havoc when the Blue Bulls were able to get their hands on the ball. It was exactly a bit of brilliance from the Springbok Serfontein to send Swanepoel over for the match winning try.

The Blue Bulls will look back on this match and know that they did not perform well on the night but got away with a win. Some clever dudes usually say the mark of a good team is to win when they not performing on the day and the Blue Bulls done just that.


Blue Bulls: 

Tries: Burger Odendaal, Dries Swanepoel

Conversions: Louis Fouche

Penalties: Schoeman (2), Louis Fouche (2)


Tries: Rayno Benjamin, Sias Ebersohn

Conversions: Fred Zeilinga, Clayton Blommetjies

Penalty: Zeilinga



  1. No I disagree. The Bulls weren’t flat, they do not have the tight 5 to play in rain. We give away to many scrum penalties, miss to many lineouts. That is why we looked poor. Our saving grace was defense and self belief of the young guys.

  2. @Aldo: Defense was great from Bulls…Cheetahs backline the same as WP think by passing the ball will find holes, no one being put into space and drifting, no plan, no ideas.

    Franco will soon understand that you need more than just that and that defenses in CC is not the same as in VC….

    It is one thing to give your players the freedom to play but you have to do that in an controlled environment.

    The Lions a few weeks ago had a similar game against the Sharks…

  3. Really enjoyed this game !

    Vrystaat needs a forwards-coach – it has been years since I saw such inept driving mauls as from the Vrystaat.

    The scrums was a total lottery – Rasta is clueless as to what happens in scrums – so I will not hold either team accountable for what happend at scrumtime.

    Anybody still wonder why Hougie is not with the Bokke ……………………
    He did make a most wonderful cross-tackle and immediate ball-steal
    The vrystaat 9 with his blitsige wrist-passing is a delight. He does not seem overly ‘clever’ but is big-strong-gutsy and gets the ball away quickly and mostly to the right receiver (at times too high though).

    What concerned me in both teams was – they did not seem to know / have-a-plan regarding rucks and the cleaning there-of. It seems the players were – reacting – shoud-I should-I-not mostly.

    Backline play – although afkophoender mostly from Vrystaat – was a delight.
    The Bulls have the service of 3 brilliant centres – doing most things right !
    And in those big-unit wings – finds of the last two seasons !

    The Bulls biggest challenge lies at 10 – neither are good-enough for serious CC rugby and certainly not SupeRugby. Fouche was totally ‘out-of-shape’ when he took over – and dayglow has serious self-belief issues.
    No wonder Pollard seems such a ‘star’ at the Bulls.

    My biggest concern with the Bulls is – the forwards seems helterskelter most of the time – as if they want to do tooo much. I would like them to ‘slow’ down and excecute ‘slower’ yet solid. Bliksemming in all the time is not the answer. Again afkophoender stuff.

    I enjoyed the game a lot – was good entertainment.

    Annnnd watch Ivan van Zyl at 9

  4. @The Brand: The problem with the rucks was that Rasta had as much of control at that than the scrums…he was never consistent and that makes players nervous to play towards the ball.

    I still stand by that the Bulls looked tired and flat…..but you get games like that and the field was heavy and wet one can get over that….

    The Bulls scrums is what will lose them the game against the Lions..they will eat the Bulls up and spit them out within 20 min and they need to get that right before they play the Lions….

  5. @Jacques (Bunny): Agree on Rasta and rucks. BUT same as in scrums then a team have to be even more presise on form and basics – at times rucks resembled primary-school rugby – free-for-all – shambles !!!

    Dawie – yes the weather took it’s toll.

    Sadly more so on the unhugemongous croud too ….

    I was just dissapointed with both teams ruck-form. And surprised at how dis-organised Vrystaat was in driving-maul !

    Jacques – VdMerwe made difference all-ready. Ribbons was not bad at all – not good though. I think Bulle scrum problem is at hooker – both hookers.

    Nollis is good scrum coach – and should be able to ‘gel’ them better though !!!

  6. @The Brand:

    It’s great to see Hougie playing 9 with some confidence again, but based on form at 9 last year and the fact he played SR mostly at wing, there was no way he could have been selected for this WC.

    Perhaps next year he’ll be a Bok 9 again.

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