Currie Cup

Bulls pay back Western Province, Sharks off the mark

Bulls gained revenge for a semi-final defeat in last year's Currie Cup by beating Western Province 45-26 in the opening game of the 2016 campaign on Friday.

Bulls finished second in 2015, four points ahead of Western Province, but were undone in a 23-18 loss to the Cape Town-based side in the last four.

And they were determined to make their opponents pay for that costly reverse in the re-match, racing into a 24-0 half-time lead at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Piet Van Zyl, Jason Jenkins and Marvin Orie all crossed before the break, Jade Stiglingh and Jamba Ulengo going over and Tian Schoeman converting all five tries to go with an early penalty before the stunned visitors could even manage a single score of their own.

A 16-minute burst just after the hour mark saw Western Province eventually respond and restore some respectability to the scoreline, Johnny Kotze, Leolin Zas, Huw Jones and Scott van Breda scoring tries, three of them converted.

But Bulls fittingly had the last word, Bjorn Basson bagging the hosts' sixth try of the match in the last minute, converted by Schoeman.

In the other game on Friday, Sharks eased to a 33-10 win at Pumas in a match between two sides that failed to qualify for last season's semi-finals.