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    Bulls spoil Jake's home coming

    2012-04-21 20:55
    Cape Town - Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn was back to his sharpshooting best in his team's 36-34 victory over the Brumbies in their Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

    The pivot scored 26 of his side's points to redeem himself after recent below-par kicking performances.

    The tourists, coached by former Springbok mentor Jake White, attempted to outsmart the Bulls at their own game but with little effect.

    They peppered the hosts with up-and-unders but the Bulls' back three were more than adept under the high ball.

    The home side, however, struggled to find their groove, with the Brumbies more of an annoyance than anything else.

    White's charges nevertheless threw down the gauntlet as they were held at an arm's length throughout the match.

    Steyn struck the first blow as he got his side on the scoreboard with two penalty conversions in the first seven minutes.

    The Bulls' defense, however, let them down as they gifted the Brumbies a try after their defensive system failed in the 14th minute.

    They let two tries slip through within three minutes as Henry Speight and Jesse Mogg scored two easy unconverted efforts for a four-point lead.

    The Pretoria-based side hit back but they could not convert the opportunities into tries and were rewarded with three points thanks to Steyn's placekicking.

    The Bulls wrestled the lead back in the 24th minute, with Bjorn Basson scoring after fellow wing Akona Ndungane got over the gain line with a sniping run.

    After Ndungane got through, the Bulls quickly spread the ball wide to Zane Kirchner who cleverly tapped the ball to Basson who dotted down, with Steyn converting.

    Steyn had the last say of the first half as he knocked over another penalty seven minutes before the break to extend their lead to 19-7.

    The Bulls flyhalf continued his reign of terror as he opened the second half with a drop goal and succeeded with another penalty kick to give his side a 12-point lead.

    The home side struck another demoralising blow with hard-nosed flanker CJ Stander scoring a controversial try.

    Referee Marius Jonker did not see a knock-on by Steyn and allowed play to carry on as the ball rolled to Ndungane, who passed the ball to Stander to score in the corner with the flyhalf converting.

    The Bulls effectively had the last say of the match in the 62nd minute with a Steyn conversion as they allowed the Brumbies back into the match.

    The tourists scored three tries in the closing stages with Andrew Smith, Ian Prior and Anthony Hagerty crossing the whitewash.

    Hagerty's try at the death took the scores to within two points, flattering the guests in the end thanks to a sub-standard Bulls defence.

    Teams:

    Bulls:
    15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Juandre Kruger, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling/Dawie Steyn

    Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Johann Sadie

    Brumbies:
    15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Andrew Smith, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Joseph Tomane, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Nic White, 8. Fotu Auelua, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Ben Mowen (captain), 5. Sam Carter, 4. Scott Fardy, 3. Dan Palmer, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Ben Alexander

    Substitutes: 16. Anthony Hegarty, 17. Ruaidhri Murphy, 18. Peter Kimlin, 19. Ita Vaea, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Robbie Coleman, 22. Tevita Kuridrani
    Read More On:  bulls super 15 rugby

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