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Bjorn Basson stars as Bulls overcome Rebels

Bjorn Basson scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls overcame the Melbourne Rebels 45-25 despite a spirited second-half comeback from the visitors at Loftus Versfeld.

Basson crossed for the game's first try after 10 minutes and, after further first-half scores from Nick de Jager, Travis Ismaiel and Jannes Kirsten, touched down twice more in the opening stages of the second period as the hosts surged into a commanding 45-3 lead. Francois Brummer converted all six tries and added a penalty.

The Rebels hit back with four unanswered tries - through Jonah Placid, James Hanson and Ben Meehan (two) - with Jack Debreczeni converting the first score to add to his second-minute penalty, but there was no way back and the Bulls comfortably held on for their first victory of the new Super Rugby season.

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