for quality writing

Ken Borland

Bulls use Steyn’s boot to beat Sharks

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Ken

The Bulls successfully used the boot of flyhalf Morne Steyn to subdue the Sharks and win their all-South African SuperRugby match 18-13 (half-time 0-0) at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
The first half was marred by scrappy play, poor handling and little vision on attack and it ended scoreless.
But the Bulls dominated the first half-hour of the second half, with Steyn, the franchise’s leading points-scorer with 991, kicking penalties in the 43rd, 49th, 53rd, 56th and 58th minutes.
The Bulls physically dominated the breakdown, but their own errors prevented them from gaining much momentum and they showed little ambition on attack, preferring to use up-and-unders by Steyn and the brilliant chasing and aerial skills of wing Bjorn Basson.
Steyn also used the time and space given to him by the strong driving of his forwards to stroke over a 68th-minute drop goal that gave the Bulls a healthy 18-6 lead.
The Sharks managed just two penalties from flyhalf Pat Lambie in the first 70 minutes, but began to keep ball in hand far more effectively during the closing stages as they stretched the Bulls.
The visitors scored the only try of the match as wing Lwazi Mvovo made a strong run down the right, before replacement flank Jacques Botes provided the support to complete the try, which was converted by Lambie.
But the Bulls defence held for the last nine minutes as the 2007, 2009 and 2010 champions made a winning start to the competition.
“It was a combination of eagerness and dew on the ball, but every time we got in their half, we just seemed unable to keep the ball. It was frustrating, but in the second half we picked up our focus and got some points,” Bulls captain Pierre Spies told a news conference after the game.
“There was good defence on both sides and there were no easy yards and no gaps out there. There was a lot of play between the two 10-metre lines and a lot of it was about field position and tactical kicking. The collisions were big, but we controlled the ball well in contact, which was important for us to build pressure,” coach Frans Ludeke said.
Sharks coach John Plumtree conceded that his team did not deserve to win.
“I’m proud of the way we came back at the end, but you can’t win games if you make so many basic errors. Our lineout did not function and we couldn’t dominate the gain-line. They stressed us, their box-kicks were outstanding, and we gave away 14 penalties, so there’s a lot for us to do,” Plumtree said.

Leave a Reply

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm

↑ Top