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Brumbies shock Bulls and reach Super Rugby final

Jesse Mogg has helped the Brumbies reach their first Super Rugby final in nine years

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Article Published: Saturday 27 July 2013|

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 The Brumbies pulled of one of the shocks of the season when they beat the Bulls 23-26 in Pretoria to book a place in the Super Rugby final against the Chiefs.

The Brumbies will now fly home to Canberra and then on to Hamilton where they will meet the Chiefs at Waikato stadium next Saturday. The Chiefs and Brumbies have not played each other yet this year.

A late try by Brumbies winger Tevita Kuridrani put the visitors into the lead with two minutes left on the clock.

The Bulls have themselves to blame for the loss as they turned down several very kickable penalties and went for touch instead of taking the points. Every time the Bulls went for touch they failed to come away with points.

The decisions by captain Dewald Potgieter meant that the Bulls only scored three points in the final quarter which kept the Brumbies within touching distance.

The first 10 minutes belonged to the Brumbies as they put 10 points on the board in this period to leave the Bulls reeling.

The Australians fired the opening salvo as inside centre Christian Leali'ifano kicked a penalty three minutes into the match.

The visitors further showed their intent to dominate the set phases as they out-muscled the Bulls in the first scrum of the match in the fifth minute, enforcing a penalty from a kickable position.

Leali'ifano pulled his penalty attempt to the right that would have given his team a psychological six-point lead early in the match.

The missed opportunity, however, came at a small price as they found their way over the whitewash three minutes later to score the first try of the evening.

Danger man Henry Speight lived up to his reputation as playmaker and showed up the Bulls' defence.

When he was finally chased down, he managed to offload to fullback Jesse Mogg to score the try, with Leali'ifano converting, to extend their lead to 10 points.

The early lead silenced the home crowd and the Bulls without the roar of their home crowd looked fatigued and subdued.

The Bulls' plight was further complicated with Steyn missing his first attempt at goal in the 14th minute.

Two minutes later however the Bulls reduced the deficit when outside centre JJ Engelbrecht powered his way over the tryline, with Steyn's attempt going wide of the posts.

The Bulls flyhalf finally found the target in the 22nd minute to bring his side within two points of the Brumbies.

However, the visitors pulled back another three points as Leali'ifano kicked another penalty before the Bulls responded with three points of their own 10 minutes from the half-time break.

Leali'ifano had the final say in the first half and the visiting Brumbies held a five-point lead going into the break.

The Bulls started the second period with great intent and came close to scoring shortly after the kickoff with Grant Hattingh being held up over the line.

Steyn, however, kicked three points through a penalty to again get his side within two points of the Brumbies.

The Bulls flyhalf and Leali'ifano continued to exchange kicking duties two more times until the hosts took the lead for the first time in the match in the 51st minute when Steyn landed his sixth penalty of the game.

Once the Bulls had got into the lead the Bulls appeared to lose their way as even though the Bulls had the tournament's leading point scorer Morne Steyn captain Dewald Potgieter opted to go for the sideline rather than going for the points on three occasions.

All three times the Bulls failed in their attempt to score from the lineout and it ultimately backfired for the Pretoria side.

Speaking after the match Potgieter tried to justify his decisions by saying, "We tried to have an attacking mindset at that point."

"Not always a popular choice but you have to back what you want to do and the guys were in the same mindset," said the Bulls captain.

Potgieter's decisions came back to haunt him as Brumbies outside centre Tevita Kuridrani crossed the whitewash to silence the Loftus faithful, with Leali'ifano ended the scoring with a conversion.

The Brumbies will now contest their first final in nine years next week in Hamilton while the Bulls season is over.

Final Score Bulls 23 (11) Brumbies 26 (16)

Scorers

Bulls
Tries - JJ Engelbrecht
Pen - M.Steyn 6
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Brumbies
Tries - J.Mogg, T.Kuridrani
Pen - C.Lealiifano 4
Con - C.Lealiifano 2
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee
: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1:Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 2:Marius Jonker
TMO : Shaun Veldsman

Teams

Bulls

Zane Kirchner , Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein , Bjorn Basson , Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Dewald Potgieter (c), Jacques Potgieter, Deon Stegmann , Grant Hattingh, Flip van der Merwe , Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling

Replacements: Callie Visagie, Frik Kirsten, Morne Mellett, Paul Willemse, Jono Ross , Jano Vermaak, Jurgen Visser.

Brumbies

1. Scott Sio , 2. Stephen Moore , 3. Ben Alexander , 4. Scott Fardy , 5. Sam Carter , 6. Peter Kimlin , 7. George Smith , 8. Ben Mowen (c) , 9. Nic White , 10. Matt Toomua , 11. Clyde Rathbone , 12. Christian Lealiifano , 13. Tevita Kuridrani , 14. Henry Speight , 15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements: 16. Siliva Siliva , 17. Ruan Smith , 18. Fotu Auelua , 19. Colby Faingaa , 20. Ian Prior , 21. Andrew Smith , 22. Joe Tomane

 
 
 
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