The Elephants were left licking their wounds after they were gored 87-10 by a rampant Bulls outfit in a one-sided Preparation Sequence clash at Loftus on Sunday.
It was a steep learning curve for a younger Eastern Province outfit who came across the going tricky against an experimental Bulls aspect lacking many of their star players.
The Bulls set aside the game to bed by halftime by running up a commanding 38-3 lead.
It was always going to be a David vs Goliath clash at fortress Loftus where the Bulls have been invincible in latest instances.
There was a radiant moment in the second half for the Elephants hooker Sithembiso Befile when he scored a consolation strive for his outplayed team.
The Bulls swept all prior to them in the Carling Currie Cup and the Vodacom Giant Rugby Unlocked‚ and they continued that pattern in their opening Preparation Sequence match.
The Elephants didn’t have the posh of a warm-up match because of Covid protocols and they were clearly struggling at altitude in the latter period of the competition.
The Bulls kept the scoreboard ticking early in the second half when Stravino Jacobs and Tim Agaba scored tries to pile on the misery for the Elephants.
It was the Elephants who set aside the primary parts on the board after handiest a minute when skipper Inny Radebe kicked a penalty which gave his team an early 3-0 advantage.
It proved to be the primary and handiest time they led in the game.
Three minutes later the Bulls hit back with a strive from hooker Joe van Zyl who crashed over the visitors’ strive line after a extremely effective riding maul.
Bulls flyhalf Chris Smith slotted the conversion to place the home aspect ahead 7-3.
The Elephants misfiring line-out play was letting them down in the early stages and this hampered their efforts to make headways into the Bulls’ half.
There was a second strive for the Bulls after 16 minutes when skipper Nizaam Carr was on hand to touch down after factual work by his forward pack.
The Bulls were dominating at scrum time and the ensuing penalties awarded by the referee were maintaining the Elephants on the back foot.
Relentless stress from the Bulls took its toll and the home aspect stretched their lead to 17-3 after 24 minutes.
The Elephants had their handiest passage of play midway by means of the primary half‚ nonetheless they were unable to punch a gap in the resolute Bulls defence.
Unfastened forward CJ Velleman was in the thick of the action for the Elephants as the visitors attempted to stem the blue machine which was increase a head of steam.
A rampant Bulls aspect then scored a scintillating team strive which was rounded off by fullback David Kriel.
At this stage the Bulls were running rampant and the Elephants’ stretched defence was unable to lunge the gaps when Carr raced over for his second attempt to hand his team a 38-3 advantage.
There may no longer be much time for the Elephants coach Peter de Villiers and his charges to protect up the objects because they are next in action against the Lions at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on March 10.