Steyn kicks Bulls past Stormers
February 22, 2013
Wynand Olivier of the Bulls gets tackled by Elton Jantjies of the Stormers.
© Getty Images
A perfect kicking display by Morne Steyn saw the Bulls off to a winning Super Rugby start as the hosts beat the Stormers 25-17 in front of 44, 272 boisterous fans at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
In a man-of-the-match performance, Steyn kickeundefinedd seven from seven, and impressed with a composed and mature tactical kicking game from behind a dominant Bulls pack.
However, the match was a scrappy affair as both teams struggled in the line outs and were ineffective on attack as the Bulls led 9-0 at half-time through the boot of Steyn.
While the physicality was prominent, neither side threatened with ball in hand and were guilty of moving too lateral as the battle was won in trenches by the more composed pack.
The Bulls at scrum and in the collisions were the stronger and superior team, especially in the first half. Despite a brief rally from the visitors after the break they still fell short of securing an important losing bonus point.
Visiting captain Jean de Villiers admitted afterwards the 'better team' on the night had won and that the Stormers had been forced into too many mistakes.
There was very little flow to the game and it wasn't helped because of periods in which there were uncontested scrums. This favoured the Stormers whose pack took a beating.
Elton Jantjies suffered in his debut for the Stormers and one felt for the young Bok flyhalf, who suffered the tragic loss of his father less than a month ago.
Jantjies, who has a career kicking average of 80 percent, never found his range and he missed four successive penalty kicks.
Joe Petersen was introduced for Gio Aplon and kicked all three efforts, but the match was one influenced by the Bulls forward effort and sealed by Steyn's flawless goal kicking.
Steyn and Pierre Spies excelled for the hosts, and predictably Victor Matfield's planning in combating Andries Bekker and the Stormers line out paid dividend.
It was also aided by Deon Fourie's experiencing a night at hooker the equal of Jantjies's goal kicking.
Jean de Villiers was a strong presence for the Stormers and Bryan Habana's night did not lack for effort.
Siya Kolisi was the best of the Stormers loose-forwards but with the Bulls, as a unit, the more cohesive and impressive up front, Steyn was good enough to slay the Stormers.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers