Blue Bulls down Pumas in Currie Cup thriller

Cape Town - The Blue Bulls took a major step towards the Currie Cup semi-finals on Friday night with a 39-29 win against the Pumas at Loftus. 

The Pumas had gone into the match desperate for victory themselves in the hopes of keeping their playoff aspirations alive, but in the end it was the home side that got the job done. 

The Bulls scored six tries to four from the Pumas having led 27-17 at half-time. 

The quality of rugby on offer was encouraging, with the Bulls in particular scoring some scintillating tries that came from quick, nifty passing and a dangerous counter attack. 

The Pumas were far more methodical in their approach, relying heavily on a dominant rolling maul to put the Bulls under pressure, but they did score one beautifully worked backline try that came from a set play in the second half. 

The men from Nelspruit had their chances to put some real scoreboard pressure on the Bulls, but errors at key times cost them dearly. 

Individually, it was another good day at the office for Bulls flyhalf Manie Libbok, while loose forwards Nic de Jager and Hanro Liebenberg put in massive performances. 

For the Pumas, Marnus Schoeman was his usual busy self at the breakdowns. 

The result means that the Bulls have now won three from five this season, while they go to the top of the Currie Cup log temporarily. 

That will change on Saturday if the Golden Lions beat Western Province at Ellis Park. 

Scorers:

Blue Bulls 39 (27)

Tries: Hanro Liebenberg, Jade Stighling (2), Dayan van der Westhuizen, Ivan van Zyl, Jano Venter

Conversions: Manie Libbok (3)

Penalty: Libbok

Pumas 29 (17)

Tries: Marnus Schoeman, Marko Janse van Rensburg, Neil Maritz, Morne Joubert

Conversions: Chris Smith (3)

Penalty: Smith

Teams:

Blue Bulls

15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Duncan Matthews, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Nic de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Hendre Stassen, 3 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Matthys Basson

Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Conrad van Vuuuren, 18 Ruan Nortje, 19 Jano Venter, 20 Andre Warner, 21 Tinus de Beer, 22 Dylan Sage

Pumas

15 Devon Williams, 14 Morné Joubert, 13 Neill Maritz, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Ruwellyn Isbel, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hugo Kloppers (captain), 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Andrew Beerwinkel, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1Khwezi Mona

Substitutes: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Hilton Lobberts, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Abrie Griesel, 21 Kobus Marais, 22 Henko Marais