Bulls sneak home in Sydney
Werner Kruger crashes over for winning try late on
Last Updated: 11/05/12 1:52pm
Francois Hougaard: Notched up another try
It was scrappy and error-ridden but the Bulls certainly won't be complaining after snatching a 27-24 victory over the Waratahs in Sydney.
In a game that possessed only a few moments of quality, both sides failed to play anywhere near to their potential.
The Bulls demonstrated against the Rebels last week that they are far from rock-solid on defence and this week it was their attack that came into question.
For much of the game the men from Pretoria looked like the 'on' switch had yet to be flicked, with little life in the back-line and the pack failing to assert themselves.
However, when it counted Pierre Spies' men did what was required as Werner Kruger twisted over to score the winning try three minutes from the end.
The opening 40 minutes were almost a continuation of the dire game that played out in Auckland earlier in the day, with both teams lacking direction and exhibiting poor execution.
One exception came in the 15th minute when Waratahs centre Rob Horne notched up the opening try of the game after Berrick Barnes and Morne Steyn had earlier traded penalties.
Horne was beautifully put into space by Barnes as a well timed pass and a host of dummy runners left the Bulls defence clueless and allowed Horne to steam through the middle and over for the five-pointer.
Then came a moment of utter stupidity from Dean Mumm as he was sent to the sin bin (and not for the first time this season) for taking out the jumper's support at line-out time.
Mumm's team-mates were made to pay for his absence as Francois Hougaard showed great strength to bounce off two forwards on his way over the line.
Two Barnes penalties put the Waratahs back in the lead only for the hosts to leak another try after a period of pressure from the Bulls in which a number of penalties were conceded.
Akona Ndungane was the man who dotted down and he was shortly followed over the line by opposing winger Atieli Pakalani.
The Waratahs had seemed determined to beat the Bulls at their own game, bashing the ball up with the forwards, and while it seemed the tactic would not bare fruit, enough defenders were sucked in to allow Pakalani over in the 63rd minute.
With the teams trading further penalties, it was the Waratahs who held the lead 24-20 heading into the final minutes but there would be no joy at the final whistle for Rocky Elsom's men.
A poor kick from Barnes was followed up by an under pressure scrum that saw the Bulls on the charge. Kruger dived over with less than three minutes remaining to see the Bulls secure the second win of their overseas tour.