Steyn's boot beats Brumbies
Aussies it back late on but fall just two points short of South Africans
Last Updated: 21/04/12 10:33pm
Morne Steyn: Match winner for the Bulls
Despite a thrilling late comeback by the Brumbies, the Bulls held on for a nail-biting 36-34 victory in their Super Rugby clash.
Despite being outscored by five tries to two, the home side had the boot of Morne Steyn on their side and his 26 points proved to be a match-winning contribution.
The Brumbies had looked set for a resounding defeat, but showed enough resolve to claim a losing bonus point when Anthony Hegarty scored in the last minute.
It was Steyn's show, though, and he landed a first-minute penalty to lay down an early marker.
One penalty became two five minutes later, before the Brumbies showed what they could do when Harry Speight jinked inside to touch down - Christian Lealiifano missing the conversion.
Able to move the ball out wide at will, the Australian side were in again with 12 minutes gone, with Lealiifano creating an overlap from which Jesse Mogg scored.
Lealiifano was unable to tag the two again, before the Bulls had a try ruled out when it was deemed that Wilhelm Steenkamp had been held up.
Steyn then chipped the lead back to a point with a third penalty, before the Bulls did cross the stripe through Bjorn Basson's strong run.
Typically, Steyn pinned the extras between the posts, with Lealiifano responding with a penalty.
Another from Steyn from 42 metres pushed the Bulls further clear and they went into the changing rooms 19-13 ahead, with Steyn's drop goal adding to that immediately after the break.
The Brumbies lost captain Ben Mowen to injury and Steyn added to their woes with another penalty, before displaying he was human by missing a three-pointer.
CJ Stander extended the lead in the corner with a try, although confusion reigned owing to an apparent knock-on from Steyn in the build-up.
The try was given, though, and although Steyn missed the conversion, he landed a mammoth 53-metre penalty on the hour.
That was the signal for the Brumbies to wake up and Andrew Smith went through to score, Lealiifano added the extras, but Steyn stunted their momentum with another penalty.
Henry Speight then shelled the ball as the line beckoned for the Brumbies, before Ian Prior showed him how it was done with five minutes left.
Lealiifano converted again, before Hegarty earned another bonus point, although there was not enough time to complete a stirring turnaround.