Bulls start on a high

The defending Super 14 champions, the Bulls, valiantly came back from behind to beat the Stormers 16-9 at Newlands on Saturday.

It took the Bulls almost an hour to stamp their authority on this encounter after the Stormers had dominated huge portions of the first half.

The Stormers had sought to bully the Bulls in the opening exchanges, winning a horde of possession and penalties and keeping the Bulls on the back foot.

By the half-time whistle the Stormers were leading by two points, 9-7, after they had allowed the Bulls to claw their way back in the 35th minute through a Bryan Habana try.

The Stormers were good value for money in the first half as they applied pressure on the Bulls lineout and rucks and often had the Bulls backs in tatters as centre Gcobani Bobo continuously threatened to breach the Bulls defence.

It was unrelenting defending from the Bulls, though, that kept the Stormers at bay leaving the hosts to collect their points through flyhalf Peter Grant’s boot.

Grant gave the Stormers the lead as early as the sixth minute and increased his team’s lead by a further six points in the 17th and 27th minutes.

The Bulls had struggled but when presented with enough possession and good enough field position, they were effective in putting together four phases for Habana to canter over the line but he injured his left shoulder when diving to score.

Habana was replaced in the second half by Marius Delport but his exit from the game did little to deter the Bulls’ focus.

The Bulls, instead, came out with more intent in the second half and quickly dictated the flow of the game to near snails pace.

The Bulls had struggled to cope with the fast pace of the Stormers in the first half but a few tight battles between the two packs of forwards seemed to knock the steam out of the Stormers.

With the proceedings at a pace conducive for the Bulls structured game, Bulls flyhalf Derick Hougaard struck first through a penalty to give the Bulls the lead in the 47th minute.

In the 64th minute Hougaard extended the Bulls lead with another penalty before completely burying the Stormers with his third penalty of the match in the 79th minute.

The Stormers were so completely outplayed and outwitted in the second half that they failed to threaten the Bulls line and also failed to add to their nine first half points.


Penalties: Peter Grant (3)

Try: Bryan Habana.
Conversion: Derick Hougaard.
Penalties: Derick Hougaard (3)

Sapa Super14.com

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