Bulls pick up bonus-point win against Lions in Ellis Park Jukskei Derby

Bulls head coach Jake White

Bulls head coach Jake White. Photo: Phando Jikelo/ANA

Published Feb 17, 2024


The Bulls maintained strong United Rugby Championship play-off hopes after beating the Lions 25-10 in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Jake White's team made it sevens wins from 10 league games this season, remaining comfortably in the top four despite not hitting top gear at Ellis Park.

Wing Canan Moodie scored an outstanding first-half try, before replacement forwards Akker van der Merwe and Marcell Coetzee touched down during a dominant second period and centre David Kriel claimed a bonus-point score six minutes from time

Johann Goosen kicked a penalty and conversion, with full-back Quan Horn scoring the Lions' solitary try, converted by Jordan Hendrikse, and Sanele Nohamba landing an early penalty.

The game was a quickfire rematch with the Bulls having secured a 30-28 victory over their opponents in Pretoria last month.

Nohamba kicked the Lions into an early lead, and his team dominated possession as the temperature moved past 30 degrees, but they were undone by a superb Bulls try when Cameron Hanekom and Embrose Papier linked in open play to send Moodie over.

Handling errors began creeping into the Lions' game, but the Bulls lacked composure in attacking positions and a patternless, scrappy first-half ended 5-3 in their favour.

Promising build-up play was often stalled by a dropped pass or wrong option, but the Lions were unlucky not to regain the lead when a long-range Nohamba penalty hit the post.

And there was more frustration for the home side shortly afterwards as Nohamba's pass to wing Richard Kriel was ruled forward by the television match official and try disallowed.

The Bulls then pounced following an impressively-controlled lineout drive that resulted in a try for substitute Van der Merwe - his eighth URC touchdown of the season - and the Lions had plenty to ponder, trailing by seven points.

A Goosen penalty early in the final quarter put more pressure on the Lions, and Bulls made it safe 12 minutes from time after more powerful work by their forwards ended with Coetzee crashing over and Goosen converting.

Horn claimed an opportunist try that Hendrikse converted, but the Bulls secured a five-point maximum through Kriel's solo effort and it was ultimately an emphatic case of job done, even if Moodie collected a late yellow card.

United Rugby Championship