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Hougaard scores brace in Bulls win

Published 11/04/2015

Francois Hougaard was in try-scoring form for the Bulls
Francois Hougaard was in try-scoring form for the Bulls

Francois Hougaard scored two tries as the Bulls claimed a 43-22 Super Rugby victory over the Reds.

Hougaard crossed either side of Pierre Spies' score to give the Pretoria-based side a 24-5 half-time lead, Lachie Turner with the Reds' try.

Will Genia and Nick Frisby narrowed the gap to seven points but - despite a further score from Marco Kotze - tries from Marcel van der Merwe, Burger Odendaal and Piet van Zyl took the Bulls out of reach.

Jacques-Louis Potgieter's early penalty put the hosts in front before Jesse Kriel's break set Hougaard away for his first try. Potgeiter's conversion made it 10-0 after seven minutes.

Turner halved the deficit from Frisby's pass but could not convert his own try and the Bulls took control before the break.

Spies scored in the 18th minute and Hougaard snatched possession for a try awarded after consultation with the television match official, Potgeiter accurate with both conversions.

The Queenslanders needed a hot start to the second half and they got it, with two tries in eight minutes.

First Genia dummied his way through for a try converted by Turner and when Frisby scored three minutes later it was 24-17 despite Turner failing to split the posts.

But the comeback stalled - though there was controversy about the try that swung the momentum back the Bulls' way.

Van der Merwe went to touch down in the middle of a mass of bodies and, despite the possibility of a double movement as he strained for the line and a strong suggestion of another hand under the ball, TMO Shaun Veldsman awarded the try.

That gave the Bulls a bonus point, quickly matched by their opponents as Kotze finished off after Samu Kerevi's burst for the line.

That was 29-22 but with just over 20 minutes to go, Odendaal eluded Frisby to go over and Tian Schoeman took over kicking duties to stretch the advantage to 14.

And though Hougaard was stopped short of a hat-trick with 12 minutes to go, Piet van Zyl followed up to score and Schoeman again added the extras.

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