The Blue Bulls were derailed by two moments of magic by Golden Lions eighthman Hacjivah Dayimani as the visitors triumphed 38-35 in their Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The Bulls reached the hour mark with a 35-24 lead and had weathered a yellow card to openside flank Ruan Steenkamp. But just when they were looking to close out the game, Dayimani destroyed their hopes with two fine tries.
The 20-year-old first of all used his fast feet to flummox Blue Bulls replacement fullback Duncan Matthews and then sped away from him on the outside, running 35 metres to score a superb try.
That try brought the Lions back to within four points (31-35) and, five minutes later, Dayimani was at it again as he ran a great line and received a deft pass from flyhalf Shaun Reynolds, the perfect timing between the two allowing the eighthman to burst through the gap and cross for another fine try.
Who was the star in this match?
Dayimani, who was also the official man of the match, produced a fine all-round display, also enjoying himself in the loose exchanges, and he won the crucial turnover right at the end of the match, as the Blue Bulls bashed away at the Lions line to try and snatch victory at the death.
Key moments and themes
- The first half was a bright affair with both sides barely making an impact defensively, the Blue Bulls going into the break 28-21 up as they outscored the Golden Lions by four tries to three.
- Steenkamp enjoyed a top-class match, scoring a hat-trick of tries, proving a very difficult man to stop as he charged on to the ball when close to the tryline, and he also showed the tenacity of a wrestler as he muscled his way through tackles. Three minutes after completing his hat-trick, he was yellow-carded for deliberately collapsing a rolling maul close to the line, but it was not a costly suspension for the Bulls.
- Reynolds shone brightly in the tricky flyhalf position, succeeding with all six of his kicks at goal and also handling the ball adroitly. He was an unflustered distributor and there was also an element of flair about his play.
- Scrumhalf Dillon Smit also kept the Golden Lions machine purring along well and, given a scent of the tryline, he also proved a great finisher with a brilliant solo try of his own in the 37th minute. Referee Rasta Rasivhenge’s arm had not even come down from awarding a penalty when Smit had tapped and dashed, wrongfooting a couple of defenders to score from 45 metres out.
Blue Bulls: Tries – Andre Warner, Ruan Steenkamp (3), Johnny Kotze. Conversions – Manie Libbok (5).
Golden Lions: Tries – Shaun Reynolds, James Venter, Dillon Smit, Hacjivah Dayimani (2). Conversions – Reynolds (5). Penalty – Reynolds.