Super Rugby: Handre Pollard starred as Bulls rallied to beat Stormers 28-12
Last Updated: 10/05/14 8:43pm
Handre Pollard played a key role as the Bulls came from behind to win 28-12 against the Stormers, scoring 28 unanswered points.
The Bulls rallied from an early deficit and, thanks to the kicking of Pollard, who ended up with 20 points, picked up their fifth win of the season to move eight points behind the Sharks.
The Stormers showed greater ambition than many of their previous outings but couldn't match the physicality of their hosts as the contest wore on and drop back to the bottom of the standings.
Juan de Jongh was in fine form in the first half, setting up the opening try for Kurt Coleman and then finishing well under pressure as the Stormers scored the only tries of the half.
Coleman's score was created by a turnover from Nizaam Carr, Schalk Burger carrying the ball up and offloading to the exciting youngster Cheslin Kolbe. De Jongh then stepped a defender and drew the last man for Coleman to stroll over.
The Stormers' lead felt against the run of play with the Bulls dictating territory, but it then got even better for Allister Coetzee's beleaguered side.
An overlap on the left created enough space for de Jongh to cut his way infield, reaching out to dot the ball down just in time as the Stormers opened up a 12-0 advantage.
The Bulls needed to respond and did so gradually through the boot of Pollard, the 20-year-old knocked over three penalties and a drop-goal to level the scores at 12-12 by half-time in a measured performance.
The kicking trend continued at the beginning of the second half as Pollard put the Bulls into the lead for the first time, slotting over his fourth penalty.
A scrappy period with both sides battling for territory ended with Pollard adding another three points, the lineout proving to be a source of struggle for both the Stormers and Bulls.
Having taken the lead and created a little bit of daylight between themselves and their opponents, the Bulls landed a killer blow. Akona Ndungane won the race to Francois Hougaard's grubber kick, grounding the ball and with Pollard's conversion putting the Bulls into a 25-12 lead.
Jacques-Louis Potgieter came on for Pollard and added an extra three to the lead to extend his tally for the season since returning from France, as the Bulls put themselves well out of reach.
Super Rugby 2014 Round 13
The Crusaders scored four tries in 16 second-half minutes on their way to clinching a 57-29 win over the Reds.
Western Force kicked off their South Africa tour in style as they beat the Cheetahs 23-16 at Free State Stadium.
The Sharks stayed top of the overall Super Rugby standings despite a 16-9 defeat to the Brumbies.