Stirling performance lifts Brumbies
Saturday, February 18, 2006Â Print this article
Email to a friendÂ
Bulls 21 Brumbies 27
Centre Stirling Mortlock grabbed a last-minute try to carry the ACT Brumbies to a win over the Bulls on Friday.
The Australian side bagged three tries without reply to claim a second successive away win, hitting back after the Bulls had taken the lead with three minutes to go.
Flyhalf Derick Hougaard kicked a long-range penalty to put the Pretoria-based Bulls in front.
But, in a brilliant final passage of play, the former champions combined down the right with half a dozen players handling the ball before centre Matt Giteau gave the scoring pass to Mortlock.
"We've always found it extremely tough to come and play at the Loftus Versfeld from a Brumbies and an Australian perspective because it's a cauldron and the home team will be up for it," Mortlock told reporters.
advertisement - story continues below
"We couldn't be happier with the effort and the intensity the boys showed for 80 minutes, even though we almost gave the game to the Bulls."
The score silenced a 41,000-strong crowd at a ground that a poll of Australian players released earlier this week had named as their most disliked.
Hougaard scored all the points for the Bulls, kicking six penalties and one drop goal.
Daniel Heenan picked up a 55th minute try for the Brumbies after former South Africa under-21 captain Clyde Rathbone had touched down in the 34th following a fine break by Giteau.
"We made too many mistakes, couldn't keep the ball and maybe kicked too much," said Bulls captain Fourie du Preez.
"Our game plan was to play in their half and it was working until the final minute."
The Brumbies lead the standings with eight points from two matches. The Bulls, on six points, are second.