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    Bulls pip Sharks in Durban

    2013-05-25 20:52

    Durban - Morne Steyn kicked all the points as the Bulls increased their grip on the South African Vodacom Super Rugby Conference and effectively knocked out the Sharks in the process with a narrow 18-16 victory in Durban on Saturday night.

    In a tight affair at Kings Park, the hosts had stayed in touch for most of the match and even thought they had clinched it when Charl McLeod scored the only try of the game eight minutes from the end.

    Patrick Lambie, who landed 11 points in total, added the conversion, before Steyn then sealed the win with his sixth penalty.

    Victory meant the home side’s slim hopes of making the play-offs are now over, while Frans Ludeke’s side moved level on 50 points with the second-placed Brumbies.

    The Sharks went ahead in just the third minute courtesy of a Lambie tackle that was awarded after a high tackle by Pierre Spies, although the Bulls hit back via Steyn when the hosts were penalised for coming in from the side.

    John Plumtree’s men did have an opportunity to retake the lead after another scrum infringement by the Bulls front row, but Riaan Viljoen’s 50-plus metres attempt sailed inches wide.

    Some illegal defending by Keegan Daniel handed Steyn another shot at goal just after 22 minutes and the veteran Springbok flyhalf made no mistake to give his side the lead.

    That lead was stretched after an off-side call against the Sharks, with Lambie missing a second penalty for his team four minutes from the break.

    The gap was six points at the break and the Bulls’ job to hold on to that became slightly harder four minutes into the second half when Bjorn Basson was sent to the sin bin following a spear tackle on Lambie.

    And the Sharks flyhalf instantly had a chance to cut the lead when Chiliboy Ralepelle conceded a penalty -- Lambie making it a three-point ball game.

    But there was another twist after 50 minutes when Franco van der Merwe was shown a yellow card for taking out a man at the line-out, momentarily turning the contest into a 14-man affair.

    After Steyn slotted over the subsequent penalty, the Sharks should have had the first try after a brilliant break forward by Kyle Cooper, but they failed to cross despite a swarm of options homing in on the right.

    They did have the consolation of a penalty, though, with Lambie booting over.

    However, the three points were gifted straight back when Daniel bore the brunt of pulling down a maul and Steyn knocked over again just as the clock ticked past the hour.

    There was finally some elation for the home fans with eight minutes to play as McLeod picked up at the base of a penalty scrum and darted over to score on the right - the scrumhalf dotting down as he was about to be taken into touch.


    15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Piet Lindeque, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Tian Meyer, 22. Sean Robinson

    15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling

    Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Jan Serfontein, 22 Lionel Mapoe

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