The first half was a ding-dong battle with the lead exchanging several times as the teams ran hard at one another on attack, and the close nature reflected in the score as the teams entered the break tied on 13-13.

The teams maintained their urgency on attack in the second half, but the hosts made better use of their point-scoring chances, outscoring the visitors three tries to one, which saw them close out the match with four tries to three for their second win in a row.

The Blue Bulls Women created more opportunities on attack in the first half thanks to their strong running and fantastic support play but handling errors at crucial times cost them valuable points.

This saw the hosts score only one try in the opening stanza compliments of Daphne Scheepers (centre), while Libbie Janse van Rensburg (flyhalf) kept the scoreboard ticking with two penalty goals and conversion.

The Cell C Sharks Women, in turn, scored two tries, with Mbali Bukhosini (wing) and Springbok Women’s centre Zinhle Ndawonde crossing the chalk, while Micke Gunter (hooker) slotted one of the conversions.

Bukhosini forced her way over after receiving a well-timed handoff, while Ndawonde stepped on the gas and used her impressive vision on attack to take advantage of space in the midfield.

Janse van Rensburg pushed her team back into the lead shortly after the restart as she gathered a loose ball and dashed to the tryline, and she added the extras to hand them a 20-13 lead.

The KwaZulu-Natalians were dealt a blow minutes as their captain Karthy Dludla (lock) received a yellow card, but the playing numbers were level three minutes later as the Blue Bulls Women also lost their captain Lalla Vazi (flanker) due to a high tackle.

The visitors made the most of this with Buhle Msomi (wing) diving over in the corner for their third try thanks to her raw pace and skill on attack, which reduced their deficit to two points.

The Blue Bulls Women found themselves under immense pressure a few minutes later as Ayanda Malinga (wing) also received her marching orders for a high tackle, which reduced them to 13 players for close to two minutes.

Blue Bulls lock Lerato Makua added the team’s third try in the 68th minute after a fantastic break by Vazi, which allowed them to create some breathing space on the score board, and they snatched the bonus point in the dying minutes as Malinga sprinted around the defence to touch down for the 30-18 victory.


Blue Bulls Women 30 (13) – Tries: Daphne Scheepers, Libbie Janse van Rensburg, Lerato Makua, Ayanda Malinga. Conversions: Janse van Rensburg (2). Penalty goals: Janse van Rensburg (2).

Cell C Sharks Women 18 (13) – Tries: Mbali Bukhosini, Zinhle Ndawonde, Buhle Msomi. Penalty goal: Micke Gunter.