Super Rugby: Bulls make it five straight wins as Otago stay bottom
Last Updated: 18/05/13 7:00pm
Francois Botha of the Bulls is tackled against the Highlanders
The Bulls made if five straight Super League victories with a 35-18 victory over rock-bottom Otago Highlanders at Loftus.
JJ Englebrecht, Akona Ndungane, Pierre Spies - in his 100th Super Rugby match - and Jano Vermaak scored the tries as the Kiwis' tough season continued.
The hosts scored the first try just two minutes in, Chiliboy Ralepelle pinching the ball and starting a move which ended with Englebrecht going over.
Colin Slade pulled two penalties back but Morne Steyn's boot pushed the Bulls further in front, the Springboks star kicking three three-pointers to make it 16-6.
The Bulls increased their lead with a controversial breakaway try for Ndungane, with TMO replays suggesting there was a forward pass in the build-up.
Early in the second-half Spies bulldozed over, Steyn's conversion bouncing in off the post to make it 30-6.
The visitors then went down to 14 when Tino Nemani was sin-binned for a high tackle on Lionel Mapoe, and then briefly down to 13 when prop Chris King joined him.
The Bulls pressed desperately for the bonus-point try, but a series of knock-ons, poor line-outs and forward passes let them down.
The Highlanders rallied, Japanese scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka diving over for a consolation try with eight minutes left.
But the Bulls ensured the bonus point when replacement scrum-half Vermaak sprinted over, Tamati Ellison's score after the hooter giving the Highlanders further respectability.