Morne finds some form to pass 200 points
THE Bulls will travel to Durban for their clash against the Sharks on Friday knowing they still have an outside chance of topping the South African conference in the Super 15.
They came through their derby match against the Cheetahs with flying colours, although the 40-24 scoreline suggests a degree of toil.
They now trail the Stormers by four points, having recorded a bonus-point win over the Cheetahs, while the Cape side barely made it past the plucky Lions.
With just two rounds to go, the Stormers now face a potentially tricky trip to Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs, while the Bulls have a higher peak to scale against the Sharks in Durban on Friday night. The Stormers and the Bulls round off their league commitments with home matches against the Rebels and the Lions respectively.
The Hurricanes' shock win over the Crusaders has complicated matters for the Sharks. The Hurricanes, the Sharks and the Reds are locked on 49 points, with the New Zealand team having played one game more. After facing the Bulls, the Sharks' last league match is at home against the Cheetahs.
The Bulls, however, maintained a glimmer of hope that they can still top the conference. They produced stellar performances all around the park, but the Cheetahs will be bitterly disappointed with their performance in the first hour.
Bulls wing Bjorn Basson played with a typical spring in his step and the size of the dummy he sold Willie le Roux en route to his try is unlikely to be surpassed this season.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect for the Bulls was the improvement in the performance of their match winners, who looked off colour in the green and gold recently.
After a shaky start, flyhalf Morne Steyn played with greater assurance as he became the first player to pass 200 points in the competition this season. Halfback partner Francois Hougaard revelled in the open spaces available to him and he, too, looked more like the player we've become accustomed to.
It was upfront, however, where the Bulls showed real grunt. Juandre Kruger delivered a superb allround performance as chief line-out practitioner and ball carrier, while Chiliboy Ralepelle and Dean Greyling were as impressive in the set phases as they were in general play.