Bulls 25 - 17 Stormers

Match info: Super Rugby at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Date: 22/02/2013 KO: 17:10

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Bulls

TriesRalepelle (67)ConversionsSteyn (68)PenaltiesSteyn (5, 27, 33, 57, 60, 45)

25
vs
17

Stormers

TriesDe Villiers (49) Bekker (76)ConversionsPietersen (50, 77)PenaltiesPietersen (54)

FT (ht: 9-0)

  • Last Updated: February 22 2013, 20:10 GMT

Morne Steyn enjoyed a superb night with the boot as the Bulls began their Super 15 campaign with victory over South African rivals the Stormers in Pretoria.

Bryan Habana goes in for a Stormers try
Bryan Habana goes in for a Stormers try

Steyn successfully slotted over all six of his penalties as well as converting Chiliboy Ralepelle's 66th-minute, try as the Bulls, winners in 2007, 09 and 10, claimed a hard-fought victory at Loftus Versfeld.

Steyn's pinpoint accuracy was in contrast to the efforts of his Stormers counterpart Elton Jantjies who missed all four of his penalty attempts as the Bulls built a 12-0 just after half-time.

That deficit left the visitors with too much to do and although they outscored their hosts two tries to one in the end, captain Jean de Villiers and Andries Bekker crossing in the second half, but they were always playing catch up.

The defeat is a blow to last season's semi-finalists, and to add to their problems their next two games pit them against Sharks and the Chiefs - the two finalists from last year.

The Bulls were quickly on the front foot and probably felt they deserved a bigger lead at half-time than the 9-0 advantage given to them by Steyn's boot.

However, it could have been worse had Jantjies not spurned his three attempts before the interval, before then missing a fourth successive shot at goal in the 42nd minute.

Soon after that Steyn showed his rival how to do it as he fired over another long-range effort to make it 12-0.

The Bulls looked comfortable at that point, but 2010 runners-up the Stormers hit back with 10 points during a six-minute purple patch.

De Villiers' 23rd Super Rugby try after Bryan Habana had been stopped just before the line got the visitors on the scoreboard and replacement Joe Pietersen, having taken over the kicking duties from Jantjies, slotted over a superb touchline conversion to add the extras.

Pietersen then brought the Stormers within two points with a 55th-minute penalty, but they could not make anymore in-roads before back-to-back Steyn goals eased the Bulls clear again.

The home side then scored what would prove to be the decisive try in the 66th minute, although it took the TMO some time to award the score after Ralepelle had snatched up Nic Groom's grubber kick and dived over.

Steyn once again made no mistake with his kick to increase the Bulls' lead to 25-10, and although Baxter crashed his way through three challenges to score the Stormers' second converted try with three minutes to go, it was not enough to deny their rivals.


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