Bulls stay top but rocked by Habana injury
February 28, 2009
The Bulls Bryan Habana in action before his hand injury
© Getty Images
The Bulls held on to top spot in the Super 14 - but were rocked by a hand injury to Bryan Habana which could see the Springbok star out of action for a month.
The Bulls scored a 16-9 win over the Lions after a stunning first half performance which saw them lead 16-0 at the break.
The Lions failed to deal with the wet conditions in the first half with plenty of errors allowing the former Champions to take control. It was one of these errors that led to the games only try after a quarter of an hour when a high ball was fumbled - allowing Bulls No.8 Pierre Spies to gather and dive over. Morne Steyn kicked the conversion and added a penalty soon after. He increased the lead with two further penalties before the break and although the Lions looked to counter late in the half they lost possession from a lineout after spurning the chance to kick at goal by kicking a penalty to touch.
The second half saw a much improved performance from the home side with Andre Pretorius shrugging off the hamstring injury that had bothered him earlier in the week to goal two penalties while Earl Rose added a third to give the home side a bonus point.
However the winners were rocked by Habana's possible broken hand which is likely to see him miss the next four rounds of Super 14 action.
Lions: Louis Ludik, Ashwin Willemse, Jaque Fourie , Doppies la Grange, Henno Mentz, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Ernst Joubert, Cobus Grobbelaar (capt), Gerhard Mostert, Anton van Zyl, Gert Muller, Willie Wepener, Lawrence Sephaka Replacements: Hans van Dyk, JC Janse van Rensburg, Franco van der Merwe, Todd Clever, Chris Jonck, Andre Pretorius / Divan Kotze, Jannie Boshoff
Bulls: Zane Kirchner; Akona Ndungane, Jaco Pretorius, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana; Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez (captain), Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Gurthrö Steenkamp. Replacements: Derick Kuün, Rayno Gerber, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Pedrie Wannenburg, Heini Adams, Burton Francis, JP Nel
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton