Stormers get properly gored

SHORTLY before Saturday's showdown with the Bulls, Stormers assistant coach Matt Proudfoot spoke of the Pretoria side's ability to do the basics "well".

SHORTLY before Saturday's showdown with the Bulls, Stormers assistant coach Matt Proudfoot spoke of the Pretoria side's ability to do the basics "well".

Clinching the final 25-17, Proudfoot will probably admit today the Bulls do things "very well".

Under the watchful eye of President Jacob Zuma, the Bulls carried on from where they left off last weekend against the Crusaders and continued their clinical, error-free style of rugby.

The last thing the visiting Stormers needed to do was concede early penalties but that's what happened and within the first 20 minutes Morné Steyn had slotted three penalties to take them out to a 9-0 lead.

Bulls captain Victor Matfield roamed the field like a Roman gladiator and sometimes soared as high as the nearby Orlando towers.

The spark that ignited the game, though, came in the 25th minute when Bulls rightwing Francois Hougaard touched down. Whether Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen was dazzled by the bright pink stripes on Hougaard's boots or not, he was left for dead as the Bulls winger easily outpaced him to the tryline.

With the conversion successful by Steyn and the scoreboard showing 16-0 in favour of the Bulls, the Stormers knew they were in for a long afternoon.

A solitary penalty goal by Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant meant the visitors went into the half-time break 3-16 down and already the phone call was going through to Loftus to make some room in the trophy cabinet for the Super 14 trophy.

The Stormers did, though, have a glimmer of hope when midway through the second half, that master of intercepts Bryan Habana, popped up in the Bulls backline and won the race to the line to touch down.

In fact, by the end of the game the Stormers had actually out-scored the Bulls two tries to one when they picked up a second minutes from the end of the game courtesy of replacement scrumhalf Ricky Januarie.

But its points on the board that count and Steyn continued to bang over penalties at regular intervals to register a personal total of 20 points for the match and to help the Bulls to win back-to-back Super 14 winners titles.

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