Warrick Gelant scored a hat trick to help the Bulls smash the Sharks 40-10 in a Super Rugby match at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday night.
The bonus-point win moved the Bulls to third in the South African conference, one point behind the second-placed Sharks. However, the Bulls have a game in hand over their South African rivals and will look to close the gap on the table-topping Lions.
While the Bulls pack laid the platform for the win, impressive performances by flyhalf Handré Pollard and fullback Gelant helped the team to this comprehensive win. The Bulls were efficient with ball-in-hand, while Pollard's educated right boot made it hard to the Sharks to get momentum in the game.
The Sharks took the lead in the second minute after Bulls lock Lood de Jager was penalised for not rolling away at a breakdown. But it was the Bulls' clinical attack that gave them the advantage in the first half.
With referee Egon Seconds playing advantage after wave after wave of Bulls attacks, Pollard found Gelant with a wonderful little chip over the top to give his team the lead in the sixth minute. A few minutes later Gelant cleverly followed up his own kick to score his second and give the Bulls a 14-3 lead.
The Bulls then showed their all-round game when they scored from a powerful maul. Adriaan Strauss, who played in his 150th Super Rugby match, followed up his hat trick of maul tries in their last match against the Stormers with a similar score against the Sharks.
The Sharks hit back with a try by André Esterhuizen shortly before halftime to give some respectability to the halftime score (21-10). But it would be the Bulls to draw first blood in the second half, when Seconds awarded the Pretoria side a penalty try and sent off Sharks tighthead prop Thomas du Toit for collapsing a maul.
The Sharks had more possession in the second half, but it was difficult for them to play catch-up rugby in the wet conditions. They made a plethora of handling errors while trying to get back in the game.
Gelant completed his hat trick in the 75th minute when he collected another grubber, before Jonny Kotze scored in the corner shortly before the final whistle to round off an awesome performance by the Pretoria side.