Mon, May 16, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Bulls in semifinals after demolishing Stormers 75-14

AP , PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa's Bulls romped into their first Super 12 semifinals since 1996 with a remarkable 75-14 thrashing of the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday.

Before the match, the Bulls had virtually qualified for the playoffs after nearest challenger the Otago Highlanders lost to Waikato Chiefs 31-8 in Hamilton, New Zealand.

As long as the Bulls didn't lose by 19 points they were fine. But the record nine-try victory -- also the Bulls' first over the Stormers -- lifted them over the Wellington Hurricanes to third in the final regular-season standings, and a semifinal match in Sydney next Saturday against the second-placed New South Wales Waratahs.

Wellington will visit the table-topping Canterbury Crusaders in Christchurch.

In Saturday's other matches, 2004 champion ACT Brumbies beat the Queensland Reds 38-21 in Brisbane, and the Cats left the Sharks on the bottom of the standings after a 20-20 draw in Bloemfontein.

On Friday, New South Wales watched Canterbury overtake it for first place, despite beating Auckland 25-20. The Crusaders beat Wellington 40-20 with a five-point performance to move to 44 points for the season.

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