Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has identified the Bulls defence and the performance of flyhalf Morne Steyn as the main factors in their 25-17 Super Rugby victory over the Stormers on Friday.
"The battle on the gainline was massive and you could see that from all the bumps and bruises, but from our side it required a big effort to keep them out," Ludeke said.
"We are very satisfied and Pine (Pine Pienaar, Bulls defensive coach) made a few small adjustments and the big thing was the work rate and it paid dividends tonight."
Steyn's accurate place-kicking separated the two sides as he contributed 20 points to his side's 25-17 victory over the Stomers.
The hosts went into the half-time break with a nine-point lead which gave them the psychological edge in the second half.
Matters could have looked different had Stormers flyhalf Elton Jantjies succeeded with his three attempts at goal in the first half.
Steyn, however, looked reinvigorated following last year's drop in form, which saw the marksman-like kicker lose his place as the number one pivot in the country.
On Friday night his 2012 endeavours seemed in the distant past as he also impressed with his tactical kicking which compounded the pressure on the Stormers.
"That is the thing with senior players they can put a bad season behind them, that is what Morne did, it was a great start for him and it was great to have him back to his best," Ludeke said.
"Especially with a game like this because that was the difference in the first half we kicked our goals and that applied pressure on them and it forced their hand a few times in the second half.
"That gave us some field position with turnovers and it just built momentum for us."
Bulls skipper Pierre Spies said the team could not have asked for a better start to their campaign and felt it would give them the confidence ahead of their next clash.
"It was important to start the season well, it is a high pressure game when you play the Stormers and it is the first game of the season. So there is a lot at stake," Spies said.
"When you win the game you take the confidence and momentum into the next week.
"It was a great team effort tonight and we were clinical and we are happy with the result."