Leinster lost their unbeaten record to a demonstration of power from the Vodacom Bulls in the BKT United Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulls were forewarned by Leinster’s unlikely comeback against the Lions the previous week.

Sean O’Brien, stepping in for Leo Cullen, would have preached the necessity for a proper start before a scrum penalty offered Johan Goosen a chance to apply pressure with a ball to touch.

The predictable direct carries were temporarily stalled by a Chris Cosgrave intercept and Liam Turner’s grab of Goosen, who eventually settled for three points in the seventh minute.

The Bulls looked like adding to their total when Harold Vorster galloped over the gain line only for Tommy O’Brien to snatch a penalty on the floor.

Problems at the lineout and at the scrum prevented Leinster from establishing a platform, O’Brien covering the ground quickly to snuff out danger from a kick.

However, the power and pace were just too much, as Vorster bossed the gain line and Ruan Nortje burst over from short range for Goosen to convert for 10-0 in the 15th minute.

Leinster had to change the narrative or suffer the consequences, Cosgrave tumbling a tremendous kick to within 5 metres.

They weren’t clinical enough to hold onto the ball, a knock-on allowing Gossen to send them backwards with a long ball forward.

Dave Kearney’s low tackle drove Canan Moodie into touch and Leinster turned the tables at a scrum to provide an escape route.

The problem was they couldn’t generate any continuity, consistently giving up ground in contact as David Kriel sent Kurt Lee Arendse through for Goosen’s extras to take a 17-point lead.

Compounding mistakes was an issue as Goosen launched a penalty inside the 22 where the Bulls’ maul was sabotaged by Alex Soroka.

Flanker Will Connors picked Moodie’s pocket for a penalty at the breakdown to trigger a side-to-side attack which produced a penalty.

A promising move was undone by Elrigh Louw’s interception, turning defence into attack for Moodie to slip a kick through for Arendse to pick up his second try, coveted by Goosen in the 34th minute.

The Bulls bagged the bonus-point when another power play ended with Johan Grobbelaar smashing to the whitewash, Gossen converting for 31-0 on half-time.

Straight away, the ruthless onslaught continued with scrum-half Embrose Papier shooting through a hole and hooker Grobbelaar showing up on his shoulder for his second try.

Prop Thomas Clarkson was binned for offside and Moodie rose highest to claim Goosen’s crossfield kick, the out-half adding the conversion for 43-0 in the 48th minute.

The Leinster scrum was splintered to spark a slick attack in which Stedmans Gans glided through for the seventh try.

At last, there was a coherent attack started and ended by replacement Michael Milne for a fine try with fellow prop Temi Lasisi heavily involved, Charlie Tector slotting the extras.

It was the exception to the rule as the home side operated at a completely different speed, Vorster getting on the end of another quicksilver surge.

Even when Clarkson returned to burst into the clear, the ball was not protected well enough to prevent the Bulls from hoovering up a loose ball for Moodie to strike from distance.

The introductions of Conor O’Tighearnaigh and Liam Molony for their debuts were two of the few bright moments in a draining final quarter.