Brilliant Bulls tame Lions
Lions lose again as season goes from bad to worse
Last Updated: 14/04/12 9:25pm
Francois Hougaard: Touched down for Bulls
The Bulls ran in five tries as they chalked up an emphatic 32-18 Super 15 win over the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday as the home side's wretched season continued.
The Lions have managed only one win so far this campaign and their struggles continued as they went down to tries by Akona Ndungane, Francois Hougaard, Zane Kirchner, CJ Stander and Juandre Kruger.
Morne Steyn also kicked two conversions and a penalty as the Bulls climbed to fourth in the standings.
The Lions tries came from Tian Meyer, Jaco Taute and captain Joshua Strauss with Elton Jantjies kicking a conversion and a penalty, but they ended the contest well beaten.
Things started brightly for the home side as they went ahead in the first minute as Meyer touched down after Steyn had been put under pressure to clear inside his own 22 - Jantjies adding the extras.
When Jantjies kicked a long-range penalty with 15 minutes gone it looked as if the Lions might end their search for a second win.
But the Bulls got back in the game when Pierre Spies broke down field and quick ball enabled Ndungane to touch down. Steyn's conversion drifted off target, but the Bulls had finally gained some reward for their possession and approach play.
The visitors were then rewarded for renewed pressure on the Lions defence with a penalty which Steyn kicked and further domination paid off when Hougaard gathered the ball from an over-throw at a Lions lineout and scored his first try of the season, with Steyn adding the conversion.
Kirchner extended the advantage to ten points as he crossed for a third Bulls try after concerted pressure inside the Lions 22, but Steyn was unable to add the extras on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors a 20-10 lead at the break.
A minute into the second half the Bulls got the bonus-point try when Ndungane gathered a Steyn kick and offloaded to Stander for the score.
The Lions did reduce the deficit when Jantjies kicked a penalty from directly in front of the posts after the Bulls were penalised for holding on inside their own 22.
But a try-scoring opportunity for the Lions went begging with half an hour left as Pat Cilliers put down a pass and they were made to pay as Kruger touched down after his own break, with Steyn kicking the conversion.
A Lions knock-on and a penalty both cost the home side when in good positions but they got their third try when Strauss crossed after good work had put the home side five metres from the try-line.
But the hosts fluffed their last chance at a bonus-point try, knocking on 15 metres out after the hooter had sounded following 10 phases of play.