Currie Cup

Composed Bulls run amok in second half to outclass Cheetahs

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Morne Steyn (Gallo Images)
Morne Steyn (Gallo Images)

Morne Steyn's enduring value was once again on show at Loftus on Saturday evening as his unerring boot proved decisive in the Bulls' 40-13 victory over the Cheetahs.

The evergreen 36-year-old pivot nailed all six of his kicks at goal to ensure his team strengthened their position at the summit of the Currie Cup log.

Moreover, Steyn kicked superbly out of hand, particularly in the first half as the hosts struggled for territorial advantage and would've capped off his afternoon with the neat chip that saw inside centre Cornal Hendricks cross the whitewash, only for television replays to show that he was in front of the kick.

That indiscretion was a tad disheartening given that it would've put the Bulls out of sight, but they wouldn't have to wait too long to eventually do so as Steyn's replacement, Chris Smith, pounced on a turnover from a tackle and a brilliant off-load from left-wing Marco Jansen van Vuren.

It was the cherry on top for Jake White's troops, who showed their champion pedigree by scoring 27 unanswered points in the second half against a determined if outgunned opponent.

They did so by playing the percentages better, relentlessly harassing the Cheetahs' line-out and milking the visitors' indiscipline.

Locked at 13-all at half-time, the infusion of substitutes Ivan van Zyl, Ruan Nortje and Nizaam Carr made a discernible difference as the latter two made an immediate impact at the scrum that eventually led to flanker Marco van Staden's first try in the 51st minute.

It was the platform they needed to take control.

Earlier, the Cheetahs recovered from a splendid, counter-attacking opening try by the Bulls for scrumhalf Embrose Papier to provide spirited resistance.

Loosehead Boan Venter made life a misery for struggling home tighthead Marcel van der Merwe, who was ignominiously replaced after just 33 minutes.

Their wholehearted defensive effort also saw the Bulls get stuck in their own half and looked in a position for an upset when their scrum led to flyhalf Reinhardt Fortuin's try.

But they didn't have the class or preciseness to make something tangible of that platform.

Scorers:

Bulls - 40 (13)

Tries: Marco van Staden (2), Embrose Papier, Chris Smith

Conversion: Morne Steyn (2), Smith (2)

Penalties: Steyn (4)

Cheetahs - 13 (13)

Try: Reinhardt Fortuin

Conversion: Frans Steyn

Penalties: Steyn (2)

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