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Stormers repulse Bulls fightback to top table

Date

Colin Bryden

STORMERS 20 BULLS 17

Bryan Habana of the Stormer is tackled.

Bryan Habana of the Stormer is tackled. Photo: Getty Images

CAPE TOWN: The Stormers repulsed a stirring fightback by the Bulls to retain their unbeaten record with a 20-17 win in a Super Rugby clash at Newlands Saturday.

MATCH STATS

A penalty three minutes from the end by fly-half Peter Grant enabled the Cape side to lead the table by two points from the Highlanders.

But the Bulls were the dominant team in the second half of a ferociously contested match, fighting back from a 14-point deficit to level at 17-17 with 13 minutes to go.

The Bulls scored two tries to one by the Stormers, but fullback Joe Pietersen landed all four penalty attempts and Grant succeeded with his only shot at goal after Pietersen went off injured.

Bulls' Springbok fly-half Morne Steyn converted tries by wing Bjorn Basson and centre Wynand Olivier - the latter from the left touchline - but missed two penalty attempts and was just short with a late drop goal attempt which could have put the Bulls in front.

"It was a massive effort," said Stormers captain and centre Jean de Villiers. "It shows the advantage of playing at home. There was nothing in it. I am just happy we pulled through."

Bulls skipper Pierre Spies admitted: "We were put under pressure in the first half but I am proud of the way we came back in the second half."

The visiting team looked stronger in the early stages in front of a near-capacity crowd, but Stormers went into half-time with a 14-0 lead.

Pietersen landed a penalty goal after 11 minutes and Bulls had cause to rue not taking an opportunity to equalise eight minutes later when Spies opted to go for touch instead of asking Steyn to go for posts.

A Bulls drive foundered and Pietersen added another penalty before Steyn missed from a more difficult position than the one his team had spurned earlier.

Another Pietersen penalty was followed by a try by hooker Tiaan Liebenberg after the half-time hooter.

Stormers attacked from a scrum in the Bulls 22 and after a promising double scissors move by the backs was held up, the ball went back to the forwards and Liebenberg powered over with the assistance of powerful lock Eben Etzebeth.

Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe was sin binned two minutes after half-time for taking out Etzebeth in the air at a line-out.

But his side scored 10 unanswered points while he was off the field, although Basson's try came from a counter-attack after scrum-half Francois Hougaard picked up a loose Stormers pass and kicked ahead for Basson to chase more than half the length of the field.

STORMERS 20 (Tiaan Liebenberg try Joe Pietersen 4, Peter Grant pens) bt BULLS 17 (Bjorn Basson, Wynand Olivier tries Morne Steyn 2 cons pen) at Newlands Rugby Stadium. Referee: Craig Joubert.

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
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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
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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
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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 vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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