Ruan Steenkamp of the Blue Bulls tries to evade a tackle during the Currie Cup game between the Blue Bulls and Western Province at Loftus Versveld in Pretoria on October 13 2018. Picture: BACKPAGE PIX/ JOHAN RYNNERS
Ruan Steenkamp of the Blue Bulls tries to evade a tackle during the Currie Cup game between the Blue Bulls and Western Province at Loftus Versveld in Pretoria on October 13 2018. Picture: BACKPAGE PIX/ JOHAN RYNNERS

The kick-off in Saturday’s Currie Cup match between the Blue Bulls and Western Province at Loftus Versfeld was delayed by 15 minutes because of a storm.

Western Province led 34-7 at halftime when the game was called off due to torrential rain and lightning.

SA Rugby regulations state a half of rugby is enough to constitute a match. Western Province needed a point to top the log after the Sharks beat the Griquas in Kimberley.

WP coach John Dobson’s side went one better and sealed the deal in 40 minutes before the weather closed in. In a match against the Golden Lions in 2017 the players were hauled off the field because of lightning but came back to finish the game.

"We’ve never seen conditions like these‚" Dobson said. "Last year against the Golden Lions we came off for a lightning break but we were in an
unusual position of having to score four tries or win the game in a half. I don’t think there’s a new format of rugby called T40 or something but to have that whole experience in a half. I just felt sorry for the substitutes because I didn’t use them.

"We were absolutely thrilled to get a result like that in those conditions, it was superb.

"When the message came in that we may only get a half of rugby‚ you could only ask the players to play with intensity and for them to do damage in the manner they did‚ they responded very well."

With Western Province topping the log‚ another instalment of the north/south derby will take place in Cape Town on Saturday. The Bulls were not expected to beat WP, who have been in excellent form.

Dobson said they needed to leave a calling card in terms of what the Bulls may expect at Newlands on Saturday.

"What I wanted to do‚ even though I’m not sure if we’ve done so‚ is to make it seem daunting for the Bulls to go to Cape Town next week.

"Chris van Zyl’s talk this week was about that and maybe some of our play in this game may have done so.

"However‚ this is a special group‚" Dobson said. "They’re not going to be complacent and they’ll also be aware that the conditions also favoured us in the game. We had the experience and some mistakes were made from early.

"We know it’s not going to be easy next week."

Blue Bulls coach Pote Human said Western Province read the conditions and adjusted accordingly. The Bulls dominated possession and territory but each time the visitors got into the Bulls’ 22, they forced mistakes or got points.

"They dealt with us in the scrums‚" Human said. "It was very disappointing because we said before the game that we can’t play rugby in these conditions. We got out there‚ we played and made mistakes and Western Province capitalised."

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