Gutsy Bulls down Stormers
Cape Town - The Bulls have beaten the Stormers 17-13 in an closely fought Super Rugby encounter at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
As it happened: Bulls v Stormers - Pretoria
In a cagey first half, both teams relied on their kickers to keep the scoreboard ticking over with two penalties apiece from Jean-Luc du Plessis and Francois Brummer in the first quarter.
Although the Stormers had more of the possession, they could not break through a resolute Bulls defence and the teams went into half-time locked at 6-6.
The Bulls took the game to the Stormers early in the second half, with Piet van Zyl going over shortly after half-time after an excellent kick ahead by Jan Serfontein.
Brummer couldn't convert but soon added a penalty as the Bulls extended their lead to 14-6.
As time wound down on the clock, the Stormers became more desperate in attack but the Bulls defence held firm time and time again until eventually centre Damian de Allende crashed over in the 67th minute.
Du Plessis converted to put the Stormers straight back into the match at 14-13.
With six minutes left on the clock, replacement flyhalf Tiaan Schoeman slotted an excellent drop goal to extend the Bulls lead to 17-13.
The Bulls held on to gain an important victory before next week's match against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld.
The Stormers face the Cheetahs at Newlands.
The Bulls have moved into second in the South African group, with the Stormers in fourth.
Try: Piet van Zyl
Penalties: Francois Brummer (3)
Drop Goal: Tiaan Schoeman
Try: Damian de Allende
Penalties: Jean-Luc du Plessis (2)
Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis
15 SP Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe (captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Huw Jones