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.
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.
Bulls' defense, however, let them down as they gifted the Brumbies a
try after their defensive system failed in the 14th minute.
let two tries slip through within three minutes as Henry Speight and
Jesse Mogg scored two easy unconverted efforts for a four-point lead.
Pretoria-based side hit back but they could not convert the
opportunities into tries and were rewarded with three points thanks to
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik
Kirsten, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21
Louis Fouche, 22 Johann SadieBrumbies:
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