Bulls crush Griffons in bizarre floodlight-failure match

rugby02 June 2023 20:16| © MWP
By:Patrick Compton

The Vodacom Bulls kept alive their Currie Cup Premier Division playoff hopes when they scored 10 tries to beat the Novavit Griffons 64-33 in their penultimate round-robin match at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

The home team took revenge for their shock defeat in Welkom earlier in the competition at the hands of the Griffons.

The match will probably be best remembered, however, for a three-hour delay from the 34th minute when the Loftus Versfeld floodlights failed, causing referee Marius van der Weshuizen to take the players off the field in pitch darkness.

It took technicians three hours to restore power, enabling the players to return to the field. The game finally ended four and three-quarter hours after it had started.

When the ground was plunged into darkness, the Bulls led 21-11 having scored three tries through David Kriel, Stedman Gans and Nizaam Carr to the solitary one of the Griffons scored by their captain, Duan Pretorius, his first in the Currie Cup.

The Bulls, needing a bonus-point win at the very least, began aggressively and Stedman Gans provided left wing David Kriel with an easy opportunity to touch down in the fourth minute. Johan Goosen added the extras from the touchline.

The Griffons responded with a penalty from Jaywinn Juries but the Bulls extended their lead when a fine pass from scrumhalf Embrose Papier found Gans in a half-gap and he powered over.

Griffons began to dominate possession and a 10-phase attack finally found centre Marquit September bursting through the Bulls’ defence and setting up Pretorius to just ground the ball on the line.


Back came the Bulls with Nizaam Carr bursting through after a line movement from left to right to touch down for his first try of the campaign. Goosen again added the extras.

The Griffons, showing good strength in the tight, forced a couple of scrum penalties and Juries reduced the Bulls’ lead with his second penalty.

As play drew to a close, it was the Griffons who were dominating possession and even the tackle count narrowly favoured them.

The three-hour delay proved to be an energiser for the home team who scored 38 points in the second half as they crushed the brave challenge of the exhausted visitors.

The Griffons were overwhelmed, both up front and in the midfield as the Bulls brushed them aside with some powerful running and mauling.

Wing Kriel completed a hat-trick of tries while skipper Coetzee grabbed a brace. Flyhalf Goosen converted seven of the tries.

The Griffons never gave up and earned a bonus point for scoring four tries with captain Duan Pretorius scoring a brace and Dandre Delport another.

The visitors were also awarded a penalty try when Coetzee pulled down a maul and was yellow-carded.


Vodacom Bulls (26) 64 – Tries: David Kriel (3), Stedman Gans, Nizaam Carr, Cornal Hendricks, Marcell Coetzee (2), Embose Papier, Mornay Smith; Conversions: Johan Goosen (7).

Novavit Griffons (18) 33 ­ Tries: Duan Pretorius (2); Penalty try, Dandre Delport; Conversion: Jaywinn Juries; Penalties: Jaywinn Juries (3)