Planet Rugby

Bulls win arm wrestle in Durban

25th May 2013 19:54

Share:

Morne Steyn JJ Engelbrecht

Match winner: Morne Steyn

A 75th-minute penalty from Morne Steyn saw the Bulls clinch an 18-16 victory over the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday.

Steyn kicked all of the Bulls' points with three penalties on either side of half time while Sharks scrum-half Charl McLeod scored the only try of a hard-fought encounter.

Indeed an otherwise dull clash, characterised by conservative tactics and endless kicking, only really came to life if the final ten minutes as Patrick Lambie converted McLeod's try from the touchline to give the hosts a one-point lead.

But the Bulls would have the last laugh with ever-reliable Steyn finding the target once again as the team from Pretoria consolidated their place at the top of the SA conference and left the Sharks with a mountain to climb if they are to have any hope of making the play-offs.

Three Steyn penalties helped the Bulls hold a 9-3 advantage at half time and they would remain in front until Lambie's 72nd-minute conversion put the hosts ahead, albeit only for a few minutes.

The Sharks went ahead in just the third minute courtesy of a Lambie penalty 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 a scrum infringement by the Bulls front row, but Riaan Viljoen's 50-plus-metre attempt sailed inches wide.

Some illegal defending by Keegan Daniel handed Steyn another shot at goal just after 22 minutes and the veteran Springbok fly-half made no mistake to give his side the lead.

That lead was stretched after an offside call against the Sharks, with Lambie missing a second penalty for his team four minutes from the break.

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 Lambie.

And the Sharks fly-half 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 affair.

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.

However, 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.

But a line-out penalty was then conceded by Tendai Mtawarira straight after the restart, with Steyn slotting over to seal the win.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Try: McLeod
Con: Lambie
Pens: Lambie 3
Yellow card: van der Merwe

For Bulls:
Pens: Steyn 6
Yellow card: Basson

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Piet Lindeque, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (capt), 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.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Sean Robinson.

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche/Jan Serfontein, 22 Lionel Mapoe.

Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings vs Western Province19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00