Jake White's Bulls beat Lions in hard-fought Loftus clash

06 January 2021 - 18:15 By mahlatse mphahlele
Embrose Papier of the Vodacom Blue Bulls on his way to scoring a try during the Carling Currie Cup match against the Xerox Lions at Loftus Versfeld on January 6 2021.
Embrose Papier of the Vodacom Blue Bulls on his way to scoring a try during the Carling Currie Cup match against the Xerox Lions at Loftus Versfeld on January 6 2021.
Image: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

The Bulls will host the Lions at Loftus, with the Sharks travelling to Cape Town for the eagerly anticipated Currie Cup semifinals next weekend.

This comes after the Bulls beat the Lions 22-15 at Loftus on Wednesday and the match between Western Province and the Sharks, scheduled for Saturday, was cancelled because of Covid-19 protocols.

The cancelled match means Western Province finished the season second on the log, with the Sharks third and the Lions fourth.

The remaining matches between the Griquas and the Cheetahs in Kimberley on Saturday and the Pumas and the Bulls in Nelspruit on Sunday will not have any bearing on the  semis.

The Lions opened the scoring inside two minutes from the boot of Tiaan Swanepoel and he followed up with two more similar kicks minutes later as the Bulls were punished for ill-discipline.

The home side replied with two penalty kicks in quick succession that were put away by Chris Smith during the early stages of the match when both teams struggled to find rhythm.

The Bulls went to halftime with a three-point lead after Smith scored another two late penalties, making the match a kicking contest.

The Bulls got the second half off to a dream start with scrumhalf Embrose Papier touching down after he received the ball from captain Duane Vermeulen after a  good scrum.

The Lions reduced the deficit to seven points when Swanepoel found the middle of the poles with two successive penalties around the hour mark as the visitors launched a late fightback.

It was not to be as the Bulls secured the match when substitute flyhalf Morné Steyn put away his penalty three minutes from time as they maintained their place at the top of the standings.

Scorers

Bulls (12) 22

Lions (9) 15

Bulls — Try: Embrose Papier, Conversion: Chris Smith (1), Penalties: Chris Smith (4), Morne Steyn (1)

Lions — Penalties: Tiaan Swanepoel (5)

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