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Anscombe leads Blues to shock win over Bulls

Date

BULLS 23 BLUES 29

Match winner ... Gareth Anscombe runs away to score one of his two tries for the Blues.

Match winner ... Gareth Anscombe runs away to score one of his two tries for the Blues.

PRETORIA: Fly-half Gareth Anscombe scored all the points for the Blues as they triumphed 29-23 against the Bulls on Saturday and put a poor start to the Super Rugby season behind them.

MATCH STATS

Anscombe scored two tries which he converted and kicked five penalties out of seven attempts at a muted Loftus Versfeld as Blues gained their first win after losses to fellow New Zealand sides Crusaders and Chiefs.

Usually deadly goal kicker Morne Steyn had a rare off day for the South African side, succeeding with only three of seven shots at goal, although he did strike a vital stoppage-time conversion between the posts to earn a bonus point.

Left wing Bjorn Basson crossed the tryline twice and captain and number eight Pierre Spies once for the three-time champions with Steyn landing one conversion and two penalties.

The outcome was a reality check for the Bulls after wins over South African rivals theSharks and Cheetahs, who they scored 51 points against last weekend.

"There was a lot of pressure on us in the first half and we defended well," said Blues hooker and captain Keven Mealamu, who helped the All Blacks win the World Cup on home soil last October.

"We had a lot of belief in ourselves despite those early season losses and it is always great to win at Loftus. The boys will celebrate the win tonight and put their heads down tomorrow and get back to work."

Spies was blunt: "There were too many mistakes in our own half and the Blues punished us. We were neither creative nor clinical and now we must get back on the horse and prepare for our next match."

Blues, who have also won three Super titles, made the perfect start with Anscombe intercepting a Francois Venter pass and sprinting 55 metres for a second-minute try.

His conversion plus a penalty gave the Blues a 10-point advantage that the Bulls halved when Spies barged over in the corner, and a Steyn penalty cut the deficit to two points.

But there was no stopping Anscombe as he landed a penalty and converted his second try to put the visitors 20-8 ahead at half-time despite having veteran lock Ali Williams sent to the sin bin for collapsing a maul.

A couple of penalties from Anscombe and one from Steyn left the Blues 26-11 ahead with 12 minutes to go and the match-winner kicked another penalty between a brace of Basson tries with Rene Ranger of the Blues sin binned after the second.

The New Zealanders now head south to face Western Stormers in Cape Town Friday while the Bulls receive a bye and an automatic four points in the southern hemisphere provincial championship.

BLUES 29 (Gareth Anscombe 2 tries 2 cons 5 pens) bt BULLS 23 (Bjorn Basson 2, Pierre Spies tries Morne Steyn con 2 pens) at Loftus Versfeld. Referee: Steve R. Walsh.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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