Bulls pip Sharks in Durban
Durban - Morne Steyn kicked all the points as the Bulls increased their grip
on the South African Vodacom Super Rugby Conference and effectively
knocked out the Sharks in the process with a narrow 18-16 victory in
Durban on Saturday night.
In a tight affair at Kings Park, the
hosts had stayed in touch for most of the match and even thought they
had clinched it when Charl McLeod scored the only try of the game eight
minutes from the end.
Patrick Lambie, who landed 11 points in total, added the conversion, before Steyn then sealed the win with his sixth penalty.
meant the home side’s slim hopes of making the play-offs are now over,
while Frans Ludeke’s side moved level on 50 points with the
The Sharks went ahead in just the third
minute courtesy of a Lambie tackle that was awarded after a high tackle
by Pierre Spies, although the Bulls hit back via Steyn when the hosts
were penalised for coming in from the side.
John Plumtree’s men
did have an opportunity to retake the lead after another scrum
infringement by the Bulls front row, but Riaan Viljoen’s 50-plus metres
attempt sailed inches wide.
Some illegal defending by Keegan
Daniel handed Steyn another shot at goal just after 22 minutes and the
veteran Springbok flyhalf made no mistake to give his side the lead.
lead was stretched after an off-side call against the Sharks, with
Lambie missing a second penalty for his team four minutes from the
The gap was six points at the break and the Bulls’ job to
hold on to that became slightly harder four minutes into the second half
when Bjorn Basson was sent to the sin bin following a spear tackle on
And the Sharks flyhalf instantly had a chance to cut the
lead when Chiliboy Ralepelle conceded a penalty -- Lambie making it a
three-point ball game.
But there was another twist after 50
minutes when Franco van der Merwe was shown a yellow card for taking out
a man at the line-out, momentarily turning the contest into a 14-man
After Steyn slotted over the subsequent penalty, the
Sharks should have had the first try after a brilliant break forward by
Kyle Cooper, but they failed to cross despite a swarm of options homing
in on the right.
They did have the consolation of a penalty, though, with Lambie booting over.
the three points were gifted straight back when Daniel bore the brunt
of pulling down a maul and Steyn knocked over again just as the clock
ticked past the hour.
There was finally some elation for the home
fans with eight minutes to play as McLeod picked up at the base of a
penalty scrum and darted over to score on the right - the scrumhalf
dotting down as he was about to be taken into touch.
15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndungane
, 13. Piet
Lindeque, 12. Meyer Bosman
, 11. Lwazi Mvovo
, 10. Patrick Lambie
Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel
(captain), 7. Willem Alberts
, 6. Marcell
Coetzee, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3. Jannie du
Plessis, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Monde Hadebe, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Jean Deysel,
20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Tian Meyer, 22. Sean Robinson
Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier,
11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies
(captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip
van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
16 Willie Wepener, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha,
20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Jan Serfontein, 22 Lionel Mapoe