The Bulls ran rampant as they thumped the Lions 32-18 in an all-South African Super Rugby match in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday.
The Pretoria-based Bulls scored five tries to two to consign the hapless Lions to their sixth consecutive defeat.
The margin of victory could have been a lot higher if Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn had not missed three conversions and two penalty kicks.
The victory was the Bulls’ fifth out of seven matches.
The unfancied Lions made a fast start to the match and took the lead in the second minute when scrumhalf Tian Meyer charged down a kick from Steyn before gathering the loose ball to go over for a converted try.
Lions outside center Jaco Taute kicked a long-range penalty kick as the hosts moved into a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes.
However, the Bulls dominated possession and finally breached the Lions defense in the 18th minute when wing Akona Ndungane went over in the right-hand corner after a powerful midfield surge from Bulls captain Pierre Spies.
The Bulls proceeded to score a further 15 unanswered points in the half as their forwards began to take control of the contest.
Steyn succeeded with a penalty before scrumhalf Francois Hougaard showed tremendous strength to force his way over for a converted try.
The visitors grabbed their third try on the stroke of halftime when fullback Zane Kirchner crashed over in the corner after some splendid interplay between the Bulls’ backs and forwards to go into the break leading 20-10.
The Bulls secured their bonus-point try less than a minute after the restart when Ndungane collected a cross-field kick from Steyn before feeding flank CJ Stander who crossed untouched for an unconverted score.
Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies responded with a penalty, but the Bulls were in a remorseless mood and lock Juandre Kruger grabbed his team’s fifth try after a jinking 30m run from outside center J.J. Engelbrecht.
The hosts were not completely deflated and, as the match entered the final quarter, Josh Strauss stretched over to score after his team had taken the ball through 17 phases of play.
CHIEFS 39, CHEETAHS 33
Waikato Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden notched 14 points as his side secured a thrilling win over the Cheetahs in a Super Rugby match on Saturday.
The Chiefs scored five tries to collect a bonus point that moved the New Zealanders to the top of the table after eight rounds.
Prop Arizona Taumalolo bagged two tries, while wing Lelia Masaga and centers Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui picked up one apiece in a match that was in the balance until the last three minutes.
Replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen claimed 16 points for the Cheetahs in only 30 minutes on the field with a try, a conversion and three penalties.
He is the tournament’s leading scorer this season on 127 points.
Earlier, Cheetahs starting flyhalf Sias Ebersohn slotted four penalties and replacement flanker Ashley Johnson dived over for a try.
Taumalolo’s first try in the 47th minute helped give the Chiefs a 17-9 advantage, but their opponents quickly turned the game around to lead 22-17.
A second try by Taumalolo in the 57th minute put the Chiefs back in front before Goosen leveled matters at 25-25 with his second penalty.
Williams scored six minutes from time and Kahui crashed over three minutes later to seal the win.