Wynand Olivier of the Bulls breaks the line against the
Stormers during their Super 15 match at Loftus Versfeld
Stadium in Pretoria. Photo Getty
Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn gave a faultless kicking
display to punish the error-prone Stormers and give the Bulls a
25-17 win in the opening match of their 2013 Super Rugby
campaign at Loftus Versfeld.
Steyn kicked six penalties and a conversion against a
Stormers side who made too many unforced errors and could not
take their chances in a game that revealed plenty of
rustiness in both teams.
"We were beaten by the better team, we made too many mistakes
and gave away too many silly penalties in the dangerous
places on the field. It is a big wakeup call for us,"
Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers said.
Both sides struggled at set-pieces during a disjointed first
half with the Stormers, in particular, turning over
possession in promising positions.
They had their lineout poached five metres from the Bulls'
line in their only real attack in the Bulls 22 and, despite
having the heavier pack, were second best at the scrums.
Repeated infringements in their own half allowed Steyn three
penalty shots at goal and he converted them all to give the
home side a 9-0 lead at the break.
The Stormers had their opportunities, but flyhalf Elton
Jantjies, on loan from the Lions, had an awful game with the
boot, missing three penalties in the opening half.
"We were very lethargic in the first 40 minutes, we were
watching the game rather than playing," De Villiers said.
Steyn added his fourth penalty shortly after the restart to
extend the Bulls advantage and, when Jantijies then missed a
relatively simple penalty in the second half, the game plan
of the visitors changed, leading to the game's opening try.
The Stormers received another penalty in a kickable position,
but instead went for the attacking lineout and they built
some phases in the Bulls 22 during a period of sustained
The ball eventually came out wide to Bryan Habana and,
although the winger was pulled up centimetres short of the
tryline, de Villiers picked up the ball at the base of the
ruck and dived over the line.
The Stormers used the break in play while referee Jaco Peyper
checked the validity of the try to bring on second-choice
goal-kicker Joe Pietersen, who converted from the touchline.
Pietersen kicked a penalty shortly afterwards and suddenly
the Stormers were within two points.
But, having worked their way back into the game, they handed
the initiative back to the Bulls with poor handling and more
Steyn kicked two more penalties before the home side wrapped
up the game with a try. Derick Hougaard grubber kicked a ball
through and, although Chilliboy Ralepelle was in an offside
position, the ball flicked off the Stormers' Frans Malherbe
and played him onside.
He was able to dive on the ball for the try and, although the
Stormers got a late consolation through Andres Bekker, they
could not find another score.