After a tense first half, the Bulls took a one-point lead into the break before exploding in the second half to romp away with the game, scoring seven tries to the Lions‘ two for a big bonus-point win.
When Lions prop Carlu Sadie went off injured at the start of the game, his substitute Jannie du Plessis infringed at the opening scrum, giving the Bulls a penalty in the Lions 22m, which flyhalf Chris Smith converted over to give his team a 3-0 lead after five minutes.
In the first quarter, the Bulls struggled in the breakdown and were punished by Hendrikse’s boot, who scored a penalty in the 10th minute and added another in the 18th minute, with Bulls hooker Jan-Hendrik Wessels yellow carded for not holding his body weight, as the Lions went up 9-3.
The Lions, on the other hand, were unable to capitalize on their extra man, and the Bulls took the lead in the 22nd minute when they attacked into the Lions 22m, where wing Kurt-Lee Arendse came near before the ball was passed to flank Arno Botha, who powered over for a converted try.
After receiving a penalty 5m from the Lions try line in the 30th minute, eighthman WJ Steenkamp chose to take a quick tap and forced his way over with the help of two forwards to score under the posts, putting the Bulls up 17-9. Smith added the extras as they moved ahead 17-9.
The Lions responded four minutes later, setting up a line out on the Bulls’ 5m. The maul was stopped short, and they had a few pick-and-gos, with lock PJ Steenkamp reaching over and dotting down in the left-hand corner. It was a one-point contest at halftime thanks to Hendrikse’s conversion.
The Bulls then fully controlled the second half, outscoring the Lions 31 to five.
After strong attacking play in the Lions 22m from the Bulls, Smith stepped his way over for an unconverted try in the 46th minute.
The Lions thought they had retaliated when Burger Odendaal scored a superb try from range in the 49th minute, only for the TMO to jump in to examine a pass in the build-up that had been declared forward.
The Bulls then grabbed complete control of the game with some exciting running rugby that saw them penetrate into the Lions 22m, with flank Muller Uys throwing replacement prop Gerhard Steenekamp over for a converted try in the 52nd minute to put the Bulls ahead 29-16.
Smith then gave replacement back Johan Goosen the space to go over for an unconverted try after a fast tap penalty in the Lions 22m in the 61st minute.
Four minutes later, the visitors launched a brilliant attack from a lineout just outside their 22-meter line, with the forwards breaking down the line before the ball was swung to the backs, where outside centre Lionel Mapoe put a perfect grubber through for wing Madosh Tambwe to gather and go over near the left-hand touch. Smith kicked the extra points for a 41-16 lead.
Outside centre Wandisile Simelane broke into the Bulls 22m, where the Lions were awarded a penalty, took a quick tap and go, and ended with reserve prop Nathan McBeth crashing his way over for an unconverted try in the 69th minute.
The Bulls had the ultimate say in the game when they booted a penalty onto the Lions’ 5m in the 76th minute, put up a maul that was hauled down illegally but attacked with a succession of pick-and-go actions, allowing replacement scrumhalf Zak Burger to reach over and dot down in the left-hand corner. Smith kicked a successful convert from touch to give the Bulls a 48-21 victory.