On Saturday, the Bulls defeated Leinster 62-7 at Loftus Versfeld, showing the Lions how to exploit altitude to defeat underdogs.
To avoid Leinster in the quarterfinals, they had to win decisively.
After Leinster’s first loss of the season, the Bulls were fifth on the log with 53 points and a solid points margin.
The Sharks (eighth with 46 points) and Munster (fifth with 53 points) were the next two games that might affect where the Bulls play their quarterfinal.
Connacht (sixth with 49 points) had the most to worry about, but their penultimate round-robin game against the Glasgow Warriors away secured their quarter-final spot.
However, a trio of braces from Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, and Johan Grobberlaar gave the Bulls a comprehensive victory that gives them momentum heading into the playoffs.
Leinster had a terrible first visit to 416 Kirkness Street.
Altitude. 1350m. It matters’ over their heads was a harsh reminder of the Highveld’s challenges.
Yes, they came a weaker team after the hard yards, but the Bulls haven’t lost to European opponents at home and weren’t going to be as gracious as the Lions.
The Bulls’ 31-0 halftime lead showed their intransigence.
The Bulls were simple but efficient, outmuscling the visitors at every step.
They opened the day with a Johan Goosen seventh-minute penalty but got the try-scoring party underway with lock After Harold Vorster’s line-break, Ruan Nortje scored in the 14th minute.
13 minutes later, Arendse scored their second try. Embrose Papier played down the blindside.
After an Elrigh Louw linebreak, Moodie sent in a grubber for Arendse to score in the corner.
On the stroke of halftime, hooker Grobbelaar muscled over to give the Bulls their bonus point and put them in control.
After Papier’s linebreak, Grobbelaar completed his brace two minutes after the restart.
Goosen, whose primary task was to convert conversions, threw in a lovely 47th-minute cross-kick that Moodie caught and scored.
Three minutes later, Stedman Gans completed a Bulls backline move to score.
The Bulls led 48-0 when the visitors scored a pushover try via substitute prop Michael Milne in the 54th minute.
That spurred the Bulls, who reached 50 points four minutes later when Vorster scored.
Moodie completed his brace on the hour, as the hosts reached 60 points for the second consecutive weekend.
The contest fizzled as the sides failed to score.
The Bulls provided their supporters, including an 80-year-old woman who watched rugby at Loftus Versfeld for the first time, something to cheer about.
The double-header concept should be tried again mid-season when game interest is stronger and the weather is better.