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Bulls knock over Stormers and march on

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Article Published: Saturday 11 June 2011|

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The Bulls kept their Super Rugby title hopes alive when they beat the Stormers 16-19 in a Super Rugby match at Newlands in Cape Town.

The result keeps the Stormers at the top of the South African Conference but both the Bulls and the Sharks can now overtake the Stormers if the Stormers don't win their match next weekend.

The result has a huge knock on effect on the standings as it opens up the race for not only the play off places but also the race for a home play off.

At the lower end of the potential qualifiers the Waratahs were knocked out of the top six but as the Bulls and Sharks play each other next week the Waratahs can overtake one of them with a victory over the Brumbies.

At the top end of the standings the Reds (on 62) now need just two points from next weeks match to finish at the top of the standings which could earn them a home final if they make it through the play offs.

The Reds will also miss the first round of play offs as even with a bonus point victory the third placed Crusaders (on 57) cannot overtake them due to the number of wins and their worst finish is in second place.

The match was littered with handling mistakes from both sides and both teams scored a try a piece and the difference was a missed penalty.

Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn kicked 14 points, passing 200 for the season and helping the defending champions to a sixth straight win in an outstanding late-season surge.

A deciding try by scrumhalf Francois Hougaard clinched the victory for the Bulls who retained their hopes of reaching the playoffs as the win elevated them to fifth place in the overall standings.

Before Hougaard's break, the match were evenly contested as only three points separated the teams.

It was a trademark performance from the Bulls as they tried to bash the Stormers into submission.

The visitors also enjoyed the majority of the possession and territory but struggled to capitalise on the advantage.

Both teams were, however, strong in defence, not giving each other an inch.

The Bulls opened the scoring when Morne Steyn converted a penalty in the sixth minute.

Stormers flyhalf Kurt Coleman evened the scores with a penalty goal in the 25th minute.

Steyn then missed two chances to regain the lead for his side, and the two teams ground it out for most of the first half with neither able to pierce the other's defences.

Shortly before half-time, Springbok flyhalf Steyn secured the lead with his second penalty conversion of the evening.

After the break, Coleman had a chance to even the scores with a penalty but could not find the direction.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee reacted by substituting Coleman with Dewald Duvenhage.

Minutes later Duvenhage had his first stab at the posts and the hosts drew level at 6-6.

The Stormers struggled with their own lineout throw-ins, which ultimately led to their undoing.

Hougaard dove over the try-line in the 65th minute after yet another lineout bungle by the home side.

The nippy scrumhalf grabbed a loose ball and darted towards the line to make one of his trademark dives for the five-pointer.

Steyn's conversion gave the Bulls a seven-point cushion, which was soon cut back to four after Duvenhage added three with another penalty.

With less than 10 minutes left in the match, the Bulls received another shot at goal and Steyn regained their seven-point lead as the clock wound down.

The Stormers, however, did not throw in the towal as lock Andries Bekker scored his team's only try at the death. Duvenhage converted and reduced the deficit to three points.

The Capetonians had one more go at securing the win with Bryan Habana nearly snatching victory from the Bulls.

Final Score Stormers 16 Bulls 19

Scorers

Stormers
Tries - A Bekkker
Pen - K Coleman, D Duvenage 2
Con - D Duvenage
Drop -
Cards -

Bulls
Tries - F Hougaard.
Pen - M Steyn 4
Con - M Steyn
Drop -
Cards -

Attendance : 48 000

Match Officials
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Mark Lawrence, Phillip Bosch
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Stormers:15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Gio Aplon, 13, Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (captain), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Nick Koster, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Juan de Jongh

Bulls : Zane Kirchner, Gerhard van den Heever, Jaco Pretorius, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield (c), Danie Rossouw, Werner Kruger, Gary Botha, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Rossouw de Klerk, Flip van der Merwe, Derick Kuun, Dustin Jinka, Francois Brummer, Stephan Dippenaar.

 
 
 
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