The Bulls were crowned Super 14 winners for the third time in four years after Morne Steyn’s 20 points helped sink the Stormers in an all-South African final in Johannesburg.
Sporting Life reports that the defending champions, who were playing at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, scored their only try of the game through Francois Hougaard.
But their South Africa fly-half, who kicked 19 points in last year’s final, again proved the match-winner with tries from Bryan Habana and Ricky Januarie proving only a consolation for the Cape Town visitors.
Both sides made bright starts to the match, seeing plenty of possession without making the most of it, in what was a historic game for South African rugby – a major final of a predominantly white sport being played in a black area in a country where racial tensions still exist.
The game had to wait 10 minutes for its first points, which predictably came from the boot of Morne Steyn after Wicus Blaauw conceded a penalty right in front for illegal scrumming.
At the same point, the hosts were dealt a blow with Gerhard van den Heever having to go off with what looked like a pulled muscle and Jaco van der Westhuyzen coming on instead.
The lead was doubled shortly after when Jaque Fourie’s error of interfering in a maul handed another opportunity to Steyn which he duly took.
The visitors tried to hit and were almost on the board with their first foray towards the Bulls’ line, only for Schalk Burger’s touch-down to be ruled out for double movement of the ball on the line.
When the ball went back down the other end, Steyn extended the lead to 9-0 after the Stormers failed to roll away from the maul.
Injury then struck the visitors with Juan de Jongh, one of their star players of the season, having to go off.
And with that followed the opening try of the game – Fourie du Preez’s short pass to Hougaard sending him away on a run through the middle with the winger rounding Joe Pietersen to score under the post.
Steyn added the extras, before the Cape side finally got points on the board in the 30th minute when Peter Grant sent over an easy kick after Danie Rossouw was penalised for not rolling away in the tackle.
It was 16-3 at half-time and Grant missed a difficult chance to cut the lead straight afterward with a penalty that faded away to the right.
As the game began to labour, Habana silenced the home crowd by intercepting a Steyn pass on the halfway line and running in under the post.
Grant added the extras to cut the gap to six, but two further penalties either side of a rare miss by Steyn midway through the final quarter deflated the visiting side.
They had little to offer in the final 10 minutes and another three-pointer from the Springbok fly-half sealed the win, before Januarie’s late consolation gave the scoreline some respectability.Tweet