Vodacom Super Rugby
Steyn crosses 1 000 points
Bloemfontein - Flyhalf Morne Steyn became the third player to score 1 000 Super Rugby points as he converted all six of the Bulls' tries and added three penalties in their impressive 51-19 hammering of the Cheetahs on Saturday.
Steyn joined Canterbury Crusaders flyhalf Dan Carter (1 272 points) and Australian Stirling Mortlock (1 031) as he became the first South African to reach four figures. He has now scored 1 012 points in 91 games, all for the Bulls.
The Bulls went to the top of the standings with nine points despite finishing the match with 13 men after Francois Hougaard was harshly red carded in the 64th minute for a tip-tackle and flank Jacques Potgieter was yellow carded for a shoulder-charge in the 78th minute.
However, such setbacks failed to stop the Bulls from charging to victory and condemning fellow South African side the Cheetahs to the bottom of the table.
Props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger scored the first two Bulls tries from close range, while Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen kept the home side in touch with his immaculate kicking ability as he scored three penalties to narrow the gap to 17-9.
The Bulls kept piling on the pressure as wing Bjorn Basson scored another try to open up a commanding 31-12 lead at halftime.
Following the interval, Akona Ndungane burst clear of the Cheetahs' defence and passed inside for fullback Zane Kirchner to score.
Steyn landed his second and third penalties to stretch the lead to 37-12 after 58 minutes.
"We're very disappointed but credit to the Bulls, tactically they were better than us and credit to their defence," Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss said.
"We were on their line for a while but we couldn't get through."
Hougaard was then red-carded, despite centre Robert Ebersohn twisting around in the tackle and going to ground head-first.
That interruption temporarily caught the Bulls off guard and Strauss pounced to score Cheetahs' only try.
Bulls quickly regained control and scored two more tries in the last 10 minutes through replacement centre JJ Engelbrecht and Kirchner.
"It's easy to play well when 15 players are so willing to work hard for each other," outstanding Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle said.
"Morne Steyn is a special athlete, well done to him."