While the men in blue managed to score a well-deserved bonus-point victory on home soil, the defeat was a second successive loss for the Irish province following last weekend’s loss to DHL Stormers in Stellenbosch.

Last season's runners up scored three converted tries to open up a comfortable 21-0 halftime advantage and they added a fourth converted try early in the second half, while Connacht pulled back two tries in the last quarter of the game.

Jake White’s Vodacom Bulls showed their intend early on when they attacked the try line with a clever lineout maul, with hooker Johan Grobbelaar going over. However, the try was ruled out on review by the TMO.

Despite that early disappointment, the home defence put their opponents under huge pressure, with the result that speedy fullback Kurt-Lee Arendse intercepted a loose pass to race clear for their first try under the posts.

A few minutes later the hosts had their second try in the bag when scrumhalf Zak Burger dotted near the uprights, which allowed pivot Johan Goosen to easily slot his second conversion for a 14-0 lead.

Marco van Staden, the Vodacom Bulls’ No 7 flank, was yellow carded a few minutes before the first water break for an illegal tackle. However, despite their one man advantage for a period of 10 minutes, Connacht could hardly threaten the home side's try line.

The Irishmen showed a lot of intention to move the ball quickly, probably in an attempt to tire out the heavyweight home pack, but that tactic was made undone by some fierce tackling by the hosts as well as numerous unforced errors.

The Vodacom Bulls eventually added a third try second before the halftime break when skipper Marcell Coetzee powered his way over from another powerful lineout drive. Goosen made no mistake with the extras to hand the Pretoria side a deserved 21-0 halftime lead.

Burger got his second of the evening barely five minutes after the break following a clever counter-attack, which saw some lovely interplay between forwards and backs to set up the bonus-point try.

Goosen, who had a steady at No 10, was also sent to the sin bin in the second half for an illegal tackle.

The visiting outfit did their best to stay in the contest and were rewarded for their efforts when replacement front ranker Jack Aungier powered his way over the whitewash for their first try of the evening, converted by flyhalf David Hawkshaw.

After they were denied a second, when the final pass was adjudged forward, Hawkshaw charged down a clearance kick to score the visiting team's second try to half the deficit to 28-14 inside the last 10 minutes of play.


Vodacom Bulls 28 (21) - Tries: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Zak Burger (2), Marcell Coetzee. Conversions: Johan Goosen (4).

Connacht 14 (0) - Tries: Jack Aungier, David Hawkshaw. Conversions: Hawkshaw (2).