ON FIRE: Ivan van Zyl breaks away during the second half. Photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

The Blue Bulls recorded their third victory of their Currie Cup campaign as they held on to beat the Pumas 39-29 at Loftus Versfeld, in Pretoria, on Friday evening.

Fresh off the 34-12 triumph over the Cheetahs, the Bulls did the damage before the halftime break, in building up a 27-17 lead with all of loose forward Hanro Liebenberg, prop Dayan van der Westhuizen and a brace of five pointers from wing Jade Stighling, denting the Pumas chances of a second win in this year's competition.

Surprisingly, the Bulls took a pounding in the rucks and mauls, but were able to out-think the Mpumalanga-based side, as they found enough space to stretch the opposition defence to the maximum.

If the first half produced a try feast, the second half produced champagne rugby. Bulls scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl caught the Pumas forwards napping as he took a short line-out throw in from hooker Jaco Visagie to dot down.

However, the Pumas were not to be outdone and a superb cutting of the backline by left wing Ruwellyn Isbell caught the Bulls defenders flat-footed, allowing for centre Neil Maritz to sprint down the left flank to score.

For the Pumas it was simply too many mistakes, particularly when on attack, with Bulls loose forward Jano Venter running all of 30 metres to score the Bulls final try, after a Pumas attack had run out of steam at the other end of the park.

The Bulls will be hoping to stay on the winning trail when they host unbeaten Western Province on October 13. The Pumas, who beat Griquas 42-19 in their previous match, will face the Cheetahs next Friday. 

Scorers: Bulls 39 (27): Tries: Jade Stighling (2), Hanro Liebenberg, Dayne van der Westhuizen, Ivan van Zyl, Jano Venter. Penalty: Manie Libbok. Conversions: Libbok:(3).

Pumas  29 (17): Tries: Marnus Schoeman, Marko van Rensburg, Neil Maritz, Wayno Joubert. Penalty: Chris Smith. Conversions: Smith (3) 

African News Agency (ANA)