Stormers deny Bulls top spot
- 13 Jul 2013
The Stormers produced their best performance of the season to beat the Bulls 30-13 at Newlands.
This result means that the Chiefs finish first on the combined log with the Bulls in second. They will be joined in the semi-finals by the winners of next weekend's qualifiers, which see the Crusaders playing the Reds in Christchurch and the Cheetahs travelling to Canberra to take on the Brumbies.
The Stormers came out firing at Newlands, dominating the physical collisions, and were rewarded for their pressure when Eben Etzebeth went over from a lineout.
Playing in his final match before joining Toulon, Bryan Habana then sliced through the Bulls defence on the angle to score in the 15th minute after being brought into play by an inside pass from Jean de Villiers.
The Bulls turned down a straightforward chance for three points on their next foray into the Stormers' half, instead setting up an attacking lineout. While Dean Greyling was held up short, the visitors were rewarded for their decision to go for the try when Zane Kirchner stretched over from the resulting scrum.
Crucially for the Stormers, they began to put points on the board every time they made it into the Bulls' 22, with Gary van Aswegen converting three penalty chances.
The Stormers were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time when De Villiers was yellow-carded for a no-arms late tackle. Morné Steyn's penalty just before the break made it 23-13.
The second half proved to be an arm-wrestle of titanic proportions. However, it was the Stormers who were able to add to their tally, with De Villiers sneaking over after 10 phases of hard graft from the hosts.
Stormers – Tries: Eben Etzebeth, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers. Conversions: Van Aswegen (3). Penalties: Van Aswegen (3).
Bulls – Try: Zane Kirchner. Conversion: Morné Steyn. Penalties: Morné Steyn (2).
Stormers – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Damian de Allende.
Bulls – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Dewald Potgieter (c), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten,18 Morné Mellett, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Jono Ross, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Jürgen Visser.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images
NZ Sevens got out of jail
Whether or not the New Zealand Sevens side ‘inadvertently’ fielded an eighth player against Australia is completely immaterial, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Aplon’s pulling his weight
Gio Aplon’s size has not counted against him in France, writes GAVIN MORTIMER.
SA rugby must get mojo back
South African rugby is desperately in need of a good-news story, with the general perception of the game’s current state of affairs having dwindled to an undeniably low ebb, writes CRAIG LEWIS.