Blue Bulls look unstopable
By Stephen Nell
September 26, 2004

The Blue Bulls look unstoppable on their way to Currie Cup glory.

This weekend their powerful pack subdued the Lions and provided the platform for centre Ettienne Botha to apply the penetration with a hat-trick of tries in the 47-38 win at loftus.

All that remains after this past weekend is to determine the semifinal permutations. The Bulls will top the log, but it's a fight between Western Province , Free State and the Lions to see who finishes second.

Kevin Putt's bSharks bowed out this past weekend with a 30-22 defeat at the hands of Free State in Bloemfontein.

The result confirmed a season of ignominy for the Sharks, who are now in sixth place on the log, one spot behind minnows Griquas, who thrashed the Pumas 45-5 in kimberley at the weekend.

Western Province took over second position from the Lions following a 70-13 win over the bottom-of-the-log Eagles, who really did not belong on the same field.

That could not be said of the Loftus clash where the Bulls, already sure of a home play-off, hosted the in-form Lions.

Any team with serious aspirations of winning the Currie Cup are going to have to get past an immensely powerful Bulls pack.

Lock Victor Matfield was once again superb in the lineouts and his second-row partner, Bakkies Botha, a powerful, if sometimes over-robust, enforcer. The Lions had a great start with tries by lively hooker Schalk Brits and Springbok centre hopeful Bryan Habana, but ultimately could not live with the grip the Bulls' pack exerted on the game.

Frans Ludeke's team dropped from second to fourth on the log with the defeat, but will still be confident of getting a home semifinal as they have an easy run-in with matches against Griquas (home) and the Pumas (away) to come.

Western Province must still play the Sharks (home) and Bulls (away), while Free State are at home to the Bulls and away to Griquas.

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