Pretoria - The Stormers overcame the pink
steamrolling Bulls to cement their place at the top of the South African
Super Rugby conference with a 19-14 victory in Pretoria on Saturday.
initially looked like the Bulls found the recipe to getting past the
Stormers’ near impenetrable defence but a late Bryan Habana try saw the
Bulls losing the North-South derby.
The Bulls mauled and bashed their way over the advantage line with the Stormers’ renowned defence unable to stop the Bulls.
the match progressed the Bulls’ tactics frustrated the visitors as
mistakes crept into their game with penalties also going against them.
The first half was an even affair with the two sides sharing possession evenly.
The Stormers struck the first blow 10 minutes into the match with flyhalf Peter Grant succeeding with a penalty conversion.
The Bulls, however, returned the favour four minutes later with Morne Steyn also converting his penalty kick.
On the 20 minute the Stormers wrestled back the lead with Grant slotting over a penalty.
Up to this point the Bulls followed the kick-and-chase game plan with little effect and switched to the more direct approach.
proved to be fruitful as Bulls skipper Pierre Spies bashed his way over
the try line in the 28th minute with Steyn missing the conversion.
last minutes of the first half ticked over with both sides converting
penalties to take the half-time scores to 11-9 in the Bulls’ favour.
After the break the Bulls got back on the score sheet with Steyn succeeding with another penalty conversion.
The Bulls seemed to be secure in the driving seat and smothered the Stormers of both possession and field position.
Pretoria-based side was presented with a golden opportunity to take the
match away from the Stormers with the visitors’ prop Frans Malherbe
receiving a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
however, not convert this opportunity into points and instead of
extending their lead they gave away a penalty which Grant converted.
The Bulls inability to close down the match saw the Stormers getting within two points of the hosts.
The Stormers struck the final demoralising blow when a darting Habana scored his side’s only try of the match.
Deon Fourie forced a turn-over at the breakdown and the ball was spread
wide to flanker Siya Kolisi who sent a well weighted pass into the
hands of a flying Habana.
With Grant succeeding with the
conversion the Stormers were in a commanding position to cement their
place at the top of the South African conference log.
The Bulls tried to no avail to wrestle the lead back and left thousands of pink clad fans disappointed.
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 CJ Stander, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4
Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18
Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22
15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van
den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan
Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben
Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Deon Carstens
16 Deon Fourie, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Quinn Roux, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Burton Francis