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On this day: Aimee Barret-Theron becomes first woman to referee premier class rugby

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The Bulls completed a victory over the Pumas at Loftus on Saturday 21 November 2020 to seal the once-off Super Rugby Unlocked title and Aimee Barret-Theron took the whistle as the first female referee in premier class rugby.

Much of the drama had been siphoned out of the round as the clash between the second and third-placed Stormers and Sharks was called off in line with health protocols and the Bulls need only have avoided a 48-point defeat to claim the stopgap competition.

The match also saw history made as Barret-Theron blazed a trail for women in South Africa.

Bulls flatten Pumas

Any hopes of an upset quickly evaporated as the Bulls put on a clinic in the first half racing to a 21-0 lead within the first 30 minutes of the clash.

Kurt-Lee Arendse crashed over in the corner for the Bulls first try and much of the first half was spent with them pushing the Pumas back.

Chris Smith, earning his first start in place of Morne Steyn then bashed over for the Bulls second and moments later his halfback partner Ivan van Zyl sniped through and scored the third.

On to the Currie Cup

It wasn’t just the Super Rugby Unlocked title on the line with the Bulls also able to get a head start in their quest to make the Currie Cup semi-finals as the log points from this competition carry over. They would go on to win the Currie Cup in January 2021 with a win over the Sharks

Ogasaswap Cross Chain Dex

In the second half the Pumas made a fist of getting back into the game with hooker Hendrik van Schoor powering over to get them onto the scoreboard.

The Bulls seemed content with holding the advantage on the scoreboard while the Pumas were more organised in defence.

Ultimately the hosts weren’t able to score in the second half but had already done enough to clinch the very first Super Rugby Unlocked title.

The Bulls were tested at times throughout the campaign but in most cases they came out on top.

How the Bulls won Super Rugby Unlocked 

The Bulls suffered their only Super Rugby Unlocked defeat in the second week of the competition against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

They produced dominant performances in their matches against the Sharks and Stormers at Loftus comfortably beating the coastal Super Rugby sides.

At Ellis Park, the Bulls bested the Lions in a pulsating Jukskei derby that cemented them as the championship favourites.

Jake White has blended traditional Bulls play with a more dynamic attack while the influence of the experience of Morne Steyn can not be overstated.

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