/ 30 April 2011

Sensational scoring burst gives Bulls win over Chiefs

A sensational burst of try scoring at the start of the second half gave the Bulls a 43-27 victory over the Chiefs in their Super rugby match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Bulls had hardly looked the side who have won the southern hemisphere’s premier provincial competition three times in the last four years when they trailed 3-20 after 32 minutes.

But a try by Wynand Olivier and a conversion and a penalty by flyhalf Morne Steyn just before halftime gave the Bulls a glimmer of hope when they went into the break 13-20 down.

Springbok centre Olivier then sparked a match-winning burst of three tries in eight minutes as he broke through the line to score again in the 42nd minute.

Steyn’s conversion meant the Bulls were level and they then totally overpowered a shell-shocked Chiefs side to record only their fifth win in 10 matches.

A classy dash down the left touchline by replacement wing Gerhard van den Heever followed three minutes later for the Bulls’ third try. The home side then crammed a third try into the opening 10 minutes of the second half when number eight Pierre Spies muscled over.

The Bulls used their combative forwards as their main attacking weapon, their rolling maul gaining them many metres, and they also successfully disrupted the Chiefs lineout.

Flyhalf Steyn gave an exceptional display of kicking, succeeding with all eight of his shots at goal as well as a drop goal that opened the scoring.

The New Zealanders had enjoyed an excellent first half and scored the first try of the match in the 18th minute when flanker Liam Messam ripped the ball out of loose forward Danie Rossouw’s hands and burst upfield. Fullback Mils Muliaina rounded off the move with a classic show of the ball and duck inside to score the try.

A try by scrumhalf Brendon Leonard, converted by Stephen Donald, gave the visitors a 20-3 lead and the Chiefs will be wondering why they fell to pieces so dramatically in the second half.

Captain Victor Matfield said the win had been a fine riposte to their critics and was quick to credit their much maligned traditional game plan.

“We were under pressure, so we went back to the things that make us Bulls and work for us. I’m very happy with the second half, it all fell into place,” Matfield said. – Reuters