Bulls on the rampage
Bonus-point win thanks to first-half blitz
Last Updated: 30/06/12 8:24pm
The Bulls scored four tries in just 17 first-half minutes on their way to a 40-24 victory over South African rivals the Cheetahs.
The home side scored tries through captain Pierre Spies, Dean Greyling and Zane Kirchner and Francois Hougaard to establish a 26-0 half-time lead, and there was no way back for the Cheetahs after that.
The Bulls then further extended their advantage in the second half through converted scores from Werner Kruger and Bjorn Basson before the Cheetahs salvaged some pride in the final 20 minutes with four tries of their own.
The Cheetahs, looking for their sixth win of the campaign, started well at Loftus Versfeld and had a couple of decent scoring opportunities early on.
However, they could not make the most of them and were made to pay as the Bulls, having been level after 17 minutes, took complete control of the match in emphatic fashion.
Skipper Spies started the the onslaught when he latched on to a Hougaard pass to crash over, with Morne Steyn adding the extras.
Four minutes later the Bulls were celebrating a second try when Greyling was pushed over following a ruck, Steyn making it 14-0 with the conversion.
Kirchner's try make it 19-0 in the 28th minute, and although Steyn missed his conversion on that occasion, the Springbok number 10 made no mistake when handed another opportunity in the 36th minute after Hougaard had strolled over for the Bulls' fourth try.
That put the home side 26-0 ahead and, with the match all but over as a contest, it looked merely a matter of how many points the 2009 and 2010 Super 15 champions would put on the board in the second half.
They quickly reached the 40-point mark, taking advantage of the 53rd-minute sin-binning of Cheetahs centre Andries Strauss to add further tries from Krugar and Basson - who produced a superb dummy to elude visiting full-back Willie Le Roux after racing from halfway - with Steyn adding the extras.
However, that proved to be the end of the scoring for the Bulls as the Cheetahs bravely fought back late on to notch four tries of their own.
Replacement WP Nel went over twice in the 61st and 68th minutes, either side of a Le Roux effort, and then Heinrich Brussouw charged down the left wing late on to also stretch over. Robert Ebersohn converted two of those scores as the Cheetahs finished in style, albeit in a losing cause.