The Bulls, with half of their URC side in tow, overwhelmed Griquas with seven attempts to win their Currie Cup match 53-27 in Kimberley on Saturday.
Playing with a fast pace, great intent to get the ball wide and excellent handling, the Bulls were just too slick on offense for a typically willing Griquas side.
But with the home side flagging in the second half and giving the Bulls plenty of territory by conceding consecutive penalties, the defending champions were able to turn a 22-15 lead at halftime into a comprehensive win.
The Bulls also played with the wind in the second half and fly half Chris Smith controlled the game with confidence and succeeded with a couple of 50/22 kicks.
Bulls captain Marcell Coetzee said: “All credit to Griquas for stretching us and they played great rugby”, while also praising veteran hooker Bismarck du Plessis for “inspiring us every day”.
The Springbok great’s lineout work was accurate and he provided plenty of running yards along the tram lines, also demonstrating dexterous driving skills.
He was rewarded with a 63rd minute try from a rolling maul, while also exciting tries were scored in open play by prop Simphiwe Matanzima, center Cornal Hendricks, lock Walt Steenkamp, flank Arno Botha, wing Canan Moodie and substitute scrum half Keegan Johannes.
The Bulls were particularly forceful on the counter-attack, with fullback Kurt-Lee paying Arendse Griquas for kicking them.
Griquas † tries: Zander du Plessis (2), Hanru Sirgel, Michael Amiras. conversions: Du Plessis (2). Drop target: Theo Boshoff.
bulls † tries: Simphiwe Matanzima, Cornal Hendricks, Walt Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Canan Moodie, Bismarck du Plessis, Keegan Johannes. conversions: Chris Smith (6). Sanctions: Smith (2).