Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Bulls second stringers brought back to earth

The Bulls second stringers were brought back down to earth as they were given a 44-14 hiding by Exeter Chiefs in their Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulls back-up brigade produced an impressive upset in their first Champions Cup clash, sealing a full house of points against Lyon a week earlier.

But when Director of Rugby Jake White confirmed he would be keeping faith with them due to their congested fixture list and difficult travel schedule, it was thought it would be a bridge too far, which it proved to be as the international laden hosts cruised to an easy win.

ALSO READ: Bulls youngsters backed by Jake White to perform against star studded Exeter Chiefs

Exeter dominated all facets of the game, particularly the power game with their scrums and mauls getting big purchase throughout the match, while captain Luke Cowan-Dickie led from the front scoring an impressive hattrick.

In the game an exciting opening 10 minutes saw the hosts open the scoring with a penalty to flyhalf Joe Simmonds, before both sides dotted down.

The Bulls hit back with the first try of the game as they attacked into the Exeter 22m and wing Stravino Jacobs went through a massive hole in the defence to go over untouched, with Morne Steyn adding the extras.

Exeter then scored as they attacked from a lineout deep in the Bulls 22m, with lock Dave Ewers crashing over from close range and Simmonds converting to make it 10-7.

Exeter were on the front foot and went further ahead in the 15th minute as they set up another 5m lineout, got the maul rumbling and hooker Cowan-Dickie went over for his first try of the match, while Simmonds missed the extras to leave the score 15-7.

In the 30th minute it was rinse and repeat for Exeter with a 5m lineout, bug maul and Cowan-Dickie going over, with Simmonds slotting the conversion to make it 22-7.

Five minutes later some superb interplay from the Exeter forwards on attack in the Bulls 22m, ended with outside centre Henry Slade receiving the ball, stepping last man Wandisile Simelane and going over for the bonus point try, with Simmonds adding the extras.

The half then ended as it started with a Simmonds penalty giving the hosts a huge 32-7 lead at the break.

Cowan-Dickie hattrick

The second half then started with Cowan-Dickie notching up his hattrick, as he took a quick tap penalty on the Bulls 5m and powered over for the converted score as they moved up 39-7 after 45 minutes.

The Bulls then finally fought back 10 minutes later as they attacked off a lineout in the Exeter 22m, with Steyn popping over a well weighted chip for inside centre Chris Smit to catch on the bounce and run in a converted score.

However Exeter struck straight back from the kick-off, showing good hands as the ball was shifted down the line for replacement back Solomone Kata to go over in the corner to make it 44-14 after 57 minutes.

Over the final 20 minutes of the match the Bulls tried desperately to get two more tries to take a bonus point back home with them, but were held out comfortably by Exeter.


Exeter Chiefs: Tries – Dave Ewers, Luke Cowan-Dickie (3), Henry Slade, Solomone Kata; Conversions – Joe Simmonds (4); Penalties – Simmonds (2)

Bulls: Tries – Stravino Jacobs, Chris Smit; Conversions – Morne Steyn (2)



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