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BULLS 36 (Bjorn Basson, CJ Stander tries Morne Steyn con 7 pens drop goal) bt UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA BRUMBIES 34 (Anthony Hegarty, Jesse Mogg, Ian Prior, Andrew Smith, Henry Speight tries; Christian Lealiifano 3 cons, pen) at Loftus Versfeld. Referee: Marius Jonker.
Despite scoring five tries to two and dominating the game, the University of Canberra Brumbies have fallen victim to their own ill discipline going down 36-34 to the Bulls in Pretoria.
Sharp shooter Morne Steyn took advantage of the 11 kicking opportunities he was handed landing a massive 26 points to seal the young University of Canberra Brumbies fate at Lofuts Versfeld in front of a large, vocal crowd.
Falling behind 19-13 at the break, the University of Canberra Brumbies stayed with the high-flying Bulls for the entire fixture but couldn’t overcome the glut of penalties keeping the Bulls afloat.
Head Coach Jake White said while he was disappointed with the result, two bonus points in Pretoria was not the worst result and his side would now regroup for Friday’s clash with the Lions.
“It’s not the way we would have chosen the game to go, scoring five tries to two and losing is disappointing,” White said.
“To stay with the Bulls for the entire game was fantastic it’s just a shame we gave them so many chances to stay in front. You can’t give someone like Morne Steyn 11 chances at the poles in Pretoria and expect to win.
“We will regroup now and focus on the Lions. It will be another tough week but we are focussed on returning to Australia with a win on the road and that starts at Coca-Cola Stadium this Friday night.”
The game started with a spree of penalties to the Bulls with the University of Canberra Brumbies responding in time with tries to Jesse Mogg and Henry Speight.
Both proved tough shots for Christian Lealiifano, who was celebrating his 50th game for the University of Canberra Brumbies, and the visitors went to the sheds trailing the Bulls 19-13.
Skipper Ben Mowen also celebrated a milestine at Loftus making his 50th Super Rugby appearance.
The home side started faster than their opponents on the second half piling on another 14 points to lead 33-13 with just 20 minutes remaining.
Lealiifano was again impressive and should his strong form continue he can be confident of featuring in Wallabies Head Coach Robbie Deans plans later this year.
But the youthful University of Canberra Brumbies responded accordingly with Andrew Smith, Ian Prior and Anthony Hegarty all laying on tries to claw their side’s way back into the match.
For Hegarty and Prior it was their first career tries.
In the end it wasn’t enough as the Bulls claimed another win at home and fourth place on the competition ladder.
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Ben Mowen (c)
7. Michael Hooper
8. Fotu Auelua
9. Nic White
10. Christian Lealiifano
11. Joe Tomane
12. Pat McCabe
13. Andrew Smith
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg
16. Anthony Hegarty
17. Ruaidhri Murphy
18. Peter Kimlin
19. Ita Vaea
20. Ian Prior
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Tevita Kuridrani