Chris Smith of the Bulls during their match against Eastern Province at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, February 28 2021. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES
Chris Smith of the Bulls during their match against Eastern Province at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, February 28 2021. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES
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The Elephants were left licking their wounds after being gored 87-10 by a rampant Bulls outfit in a one-sided Preparation Series clash at Loftus on Sunday.

It was a steep learning curve for a young Eastern Province team who found the going tough against an experimental Bulls side missing many of their star players.

The Bulls put the game to bed by halftime by running up a commanding 38-3 lead.

It was always going to be a David vs Goliath clash at Fortress Loftus where the Bulls have been invincible in recent times.

There was a bright moment in the second half for Elephants hooker Sithembiso Befile when he scored a consolation try for his outplayed team.

The Bulls swept all before them in the Carling Currie Cup and the Vodacom Unlocked Series‚ and they continued that trend on Sunday.

Eastern Province did not have the luxury of a warm-up match because of Covid protocols and they were struggling at altitude in the latter period of the contest.

The Bulls kept the scoreboard ticking early in the second half when Stravino Jacobs and Tim Agaba scored tries to pile on the misery for the visitors.

It was Eastern Province who put the first points on the board after a minute when skipper Inny Radebe kicked a penalty.

Three minutes later the Bulls hit back with a try from hooker Joe van Zyl who crashed over Eastern Province’s try line after a powerful driving maul.

Bulls flyhalf Chris Smith slotted the conversion to put the home side ahead 7-3.

Eastern Province’s misfiring line-out play was letting them down in the early stages and this hampered their efforts to make headway into the Bulls’ half.

There was a second try for the Bulls after 16 minutes when skipper Nizaam Carr was on hand to touch down after good work by his pack.

The Bulls were dominating at scrum time and the resulting penalties awarded by the referee were keeping the Elephants on the back foot.

Relentless pressure from the Bulls took its toll and the Bulls stretched their lead to 17-3 after 24 minutes.

The Elephants had their best passage of play midway through the first half‚ but they were unable to punch a hole in the resolute Bulls defence.

Loose forward CJ Velleman was in the thick of the action for the  visitors as they attempted to stem the blue machine, which was building up a head of steam.

A rampant Bulls side then scored a scintillating team try which was rounded off by fullback David Kriel.

At this stage the Bulls were running rampant and Eastern Province stretched defence was unable to plug the gaps when Carr raced over for his second try to hand his team a 38-3 advantage.

There will not be much time for Eastern Province Elephants coach Peter de Villiers and his charges to pick up the pieces as they are next in action against the Lions at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on March 10.

Scorers:

Bulls 87: Tries: Joe van Zyl‚ Nizaam Carr (2)‚ Marco Jansen van Vuren‚ Stravino Jacobs (2)‚ Tim Agaba‚ David Kriel‚ Marnus Potgieter‚ Keagan Johannes (2)‚ Jandre Burger. Conversions: Chris Smith (9)‚ Jandre Burger (3) Penalty: Chris Smith.

EP Elephants 10: Try: Sithembiso Befile‚ Conversion: Inny Redebe. Penalty: Inny Radebe.

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