Ospreys defeated by Vodacom Bulls in tough battle at Loftus Versfeld Stadium

A young Ospreys team fought hard in Pretoria but ultimately fell short to a near full strength Vodacom Bulls squad. The thrilling encounter, which ended in the Ospreys losing 43-26, was delayed due to extreme weather conditions that included lightning and large hailstones.

The Vodacom Bulls got off to a quick start, breaking rapidly into the Ospreys 22, but a quality tackle from Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler wrapped the oncoming Bull into touch.

From there, the Vodacom Bulls continued to apply pressure on the Ospreys, with the Bulls half-back pairing showcasing an array of clever kicking in the Ospreys half.

A smart set piece shortly after from a lineout resulted in a finish out wide for David Kriel. The try was converted by Chris Smith, 7-0 Bulls.

Another turnover from the Bulls resulted in a wide left breakaway for the South African side. A great chase back from Huw Sutton stopped a guaranteed score.

The Bulls began to turn the screw and were rewarded with a try on the other side of the pitch for Nizaam Carr. Conversion missed 12-0.

Bulls quickly moved into Ospreys' 22 again thanks to an up and under towards the right touchline. Jack Walsh was able to recover the ball well and Ospreys were able to kick clear but the ball stayed in play and resulted in a heavy overlap out wide. Bulls scored again through Steenkamp; conversion missed.

Soon after, it was Ospreys' turn to score. A great decision from Jack Walsh to hold onto the ball instead of returning a kick led to a clinical Luke Morgan/Keiran Williams break and eventually resulted in the Jack Walsh try and conversion. Some great work from the Ospreys in the face of adversity, 17-7.

It didn’t take long for the Vodacom Bulls to answer back. Pressure at the ruck resulted in another Kriel breakaway which he was able to finish. 24-7 after conversion.

The Ospreys were not going down without a fight though. A solid spell in the opposition 22 and some great ball carrying from the pack led to a superb grubber kick from Jack Walsh that was recovered by Tiaan for the try. 24-14.

Bulls were able to score just before half time through number 8, Elrigh Louw. Smith converts, 31-14.


HALF TIME Vodacom Bulls 31, Ospreys 14.

The Vodacom Bulls came out firing in the second half, but some top try line defence from the Ospreys resulted in the ball being held up.

The try hold up seemed to invigorate the Ospreys, who had prolonged spells of possession in the second half, resulting in a few ‘almost moments’ close to the Bulls’ try line.

The Ospreys' pressure began to show as the Bulls began to give away a few needless penalties close to their own try line. They certainly could've seen a yellow at this point.

They couldn’t holdout forever though, Keiran “cannonball” Williams bowled his way off the line to reward the Ospreys with a well-deserved try. Walsh unable to convert, 31-19.

Despite intense heat, this young Ospreys team were giving the Vodacom Bulls a real battle in the second half.

A strong second half for the Ospreys was dampened, as the Bulls were able to score another breakaway try, this time through Ruan Nortje. Kick converted, 38-19.

Not long after, Rhys Henry was able to power his way over for a huge bonus point try to make it 38-26 after Walsh’s conversion.

Bulls got the last word though with Zak Burger going over for the last try of the game.


FULL TIME Bulls 43, Ospreys 26