Rugby-Bulls blitz Reds 92-3 to earn home semi-final

CAPE TOWN Sat May 5, 2007 8:49pm BST

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CAPE TOWN May 5 (Reuters) - The Bulls, needing an unlikely 72-point victory to secure a home Super 14 semi-final, achieved their target with room to spare on Saturday when they hammered the Queensland Reds 92-3 at Loftus Versfeld.

The 89-point winning margin was a Super rugby record, surpassing the 77 set by the Canterbury Crusaders in their 96-19 victory over the New South Wales Waratahs in 2002.

The Bulls' 13 tries were the second highest scored by a team in a single match, falling one short of the Crusaders' record against the Waratahs.

Going into Saturday's match the Bulls knew they had to beat the struggling Australians by 72 points to steal second place from the Crusaders, who they will now meet in Pretoria next week.

Earlier the Sharks beat the Stormers to become the first South African team to top the competition's standings and earn a Duban semi with the Auckland Blues.

It is the first time since 2001 that two South African teams have qualified for the Super 14 semi-finals and the first time ever that they have both had home advantage.

Bulls flyhalf Derick Hougaard scored 25 points from 11 conversions and one penalty while four players scored two tries each.

The Bulls scored five first-half tries before running riot in the second half with eight further tries.

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