The Blue Bulls are still alive in the Currie Cup after defeating the DHL Western Province 26-13 in Pretoria on Friday.
The Blue Bulls can still make it into the top four, but will have to beat the Lions next weekend in Johannesburg and hope other results go their way.
It wasn’t pretty, but it sure was effective as the Vodacom Blue Bulls bludgeoned their way to victory over DHL Western Province at Loftus Versfeld to keep not only their semi-final hopes alive, but also hopes of avoiding a dreaded promotion-relegation match against the EP Kings.
In the process, the Blue Bulls stopped Allister Coetzee’s teams from posting a clean sweep over their northern rivals this year, after the Cape side won both Vodacom Super Rugby fixtures as well as the first-round match at Newlands.
But on Friday night the Bulls needed a win. Facing the spectre of possible relegation, the home side were desperate and determined, and showed their single-mindedness by not even bothering to look for a bonus point for tries.
Led from the front by captain Dewald Potgieter, the Blue Bulls showed intense purpose as they met every single Western Province drive head on, and drove them back, while hammering at the much-vaunted WP defence which leaked only one try, to Akona Ndungane.
From there on coach Pine Pienaar's men were ahead and intent on keeping it that way. Every opportunity they got close to the line, they left Louis Fouche to kick at posts. And while the flyhalf’s options were sometimes found wanting, his kicking at posts was top drawer.
Referee Jonathan Kaplan awarded a penalty try after the Blue Bulls collapsed a maul for the third time late in the second half, opening a glimmer of hope for the visitors, but the hosts soon closed that loophole with two late penalties to seal the game.
Blue Bulls – Try: Akona Ndungane. Penalties: Louis Fouche (7).
WP – Try: Penalty try. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalties: Catrakilis (2).