Handre Pollard is fast maturing into a rugby great. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

The Bulls moved to the top of the SA Super Rugby Conference after beating the Sharks 37-14 at Loftus Versfeld.

The win was effectively secured in the first half when the Bulls utterly outplayed the Sharks.

The Pretoria franchise produced a superb set play for captain Handre Pollard, Cornal Hendricks and Jesse Kriel to combine and send the Bok centre away for the simplest of tries.

Pollard then slotted two more penalties as the Bulls continued to win the scrum battle while building scoreboard pressure at 19-0 up at the interval.

Pollard said he was proud of his players, but the team needed to refocus and use the bye in the coming week to regroup. “We have a week off and will regroup and come back even stronger.”

ROLE: Cornal Hendricks. PHOTO: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

The Springbok flyhalf said the many senior players in his team made things easier for him.

The Sharks, on the other hand, made things difficult for themselves with a lack of discipline in the first half.

This allowed the Bulls to keep the scoreboard ticking with Pollard scoring 22 of his side’s points with the boot.

SCORER: Centre Jesse Kriel on the burst for the Bulls. PHOTO: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX.

Former Bok coach Nick Mallett, now an analyst, believes that the Bulls have laid down a marker for the rest of the South African teams.

Pollard and his teammates have won all three SA derbies in this competition thus far.

Veteran hooker Schalk Brits said that the Bulls are growing as a team and showed lots of guts, work ethic and physicality in this victory. “We applied lots of pressure and that got us through.”

BACK: Louis Schreuder. PHOTO: BACKPAGEPIX.

Sharks’ captain Louis Schreuder felt a lack of discipline cost his side dearly. “We did not achieve what we wanted to. This loss will, however, not dent our confidence or spirit.

“We will regroup and be back,” he said.

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