Defending champs upstage Waratahs

Champions Bulls beat the second-placed New South Wales Waratahs 16-13 in a Super 14 match on Saturday.

The result helped the struggling Bulls to move up a slot into 10th place, while the Waratahs retained their position in the standings. They lie 10 points behind the Canterbury Crusaders courtesy of a losing bonus point.

The Waratahs went into a 7-0 lead after nine minutes thanks to a try by centre Rob Horne. He had been put in the clear by a thrilling charge from eighthman Wycliff Palu. Flyhalf Kurtley Beale converted.

The visitors could have gone further into the lead eight minutes later but scrumhalf Luke Burgess was blocked inside the in-goal area by Bulls prop Werner Kruger.

A snap drop goal after an untidy lineout by replacement Derick Hougaard put the Bulls on the scoreboard after 19 minutes.

Wing Bryan Habana’s chip-and-charge eight minutes later drew a penalty, which Morne Steyn converted to close the gap to 7-6.

The Bulls scored a crucial try shortly after the restart as prop Gurthro Steenkamp, who enjoyed a top-class game, burst clear into space and centre Wynand Olivier found Derick Kuun on an angled run back inside. The hooker managed to outfox two tacklers and reached the tryline with a desperate lunge.

Steyn’s conversion put the Bulls 13-7 ahead but Beale kicked a penalty and a drop goal to level the scores with the Waratahs.

But it ended in tears for the visitors as they lost their own scrum ball, replacement flank Pedrie Wannenburg made a telling break off the scrum.

The Bulls drove the ball into the shadow of the goalposts and passed it back for Steyn to kick the winning drop goal with seven minutes remaining. – Reuters

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