Comeback win for Stormers
Springbok winger grabs crucial late score
Last Updated: 02/06/12 8:42pm
Bryan Habana returned to haunt his former side with a late try as the Stormers battled back to clinch a 19-14 victory over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Springbok winger Habana, who spent four years with the Bulls before joining the Stormers in 2009, went over with eight minutes left to help his side claim their 11th win in 13 matches and stay hot on the heels of Super Rugby leaders the Chiefs.
Habana's try came after the Stormers had looked in some trouble with less than 20 minutes remaining when they trailed 14-9 and with prop Frans Malherbe in the sin-bin.
The rest of the Stormers points came from fly-half Peter Grant, who booted four penalties as well as converting Habana's try.
For the Bulls, Morne Steyn kicked three penalties but was unable to convert Pierre Spies' first-half try as the home side slipped to their fifth defeat of the campaign.
A pair of Grant penalties saw the Stormers leading 6-3 after 30 minutes but the Bulls then took the lead when skipper Spies went over for a try that was eventually awarded after going to the TMO .
Steyn, having missed an early drop goal but then finding his mark with a penalty, should have added the extras but missed his conversion from in front of the posts.
The South Africa number 10 made made no mistake when presented with another scoring opportunity three minutes later though as his penalty put the Bulls 11-6 ahead before Grant responded in kind to leave the hosts 11-9 up at the break.
Another Steyn three-pointer soon after half-time restored the Bulls' five-point lead and, after Malherbe had been yellow-carded, he sought to increase it further but was off-target with another drop-goal attempt.
If that had gone over it could have left the Stormers with too much to do against a Bulls defence that was proving hard to break down, but, despite their numerical disadvantage, the away side won another penalty in the 66th minute which Grant slotted over to make it a two-point game again.
Then, in a rare try-scoring opportunity, the Stormers claimed victory when Habana went over following a Siya Kolisi break with Grant adding the conversion as the visitors moved five points clear of the Bulls at the top of the South African conference.