Steyn dashes Scots’ hopes at the death

THE cruelest of defeats saw Edinburgh leave Loftus Versfeld last night with just two bonus points lost after Henry Immelman missed a long-range shot with the final shot of the game. Darcy Graham scored a hat-trick as the visitors hit back after a slow start, and Charlie Savala and Damien Hoyland also landed as they won the try count 5-4. but in the end, Bulls veteran Morne Steyn was the player who made the difference.

Less than two minutes before the end, the now 38-year-old Steyn managed what Immelman couldn’t emulate about 90 seconds later: knocked over a penalty from about 45 meters and put his team two points ahead. Immelman also went wide with another penalty attempt just minutes from Steyn’s goal during Markus Bennett missed a few conversion attempts.

However, it’s understandable that given the spirit they showed in recovering from an early 0-15 deficit, his team felt Mike Blair insisted that he would not blame either Immelman or Bennett for the outcome. The head coach pointed out that the team’s top three scorers – Emiliano Boffelli, Blair Kinghorn and Jacob van der Walt – were all unavailable. Boffelli is on international duty for Argentina, Kinghorn was ruled out last morning with a stomach ailment and Van der Walt, his substitute, lasted just over 10 minutes before a head injury ended his engagement.

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“We looked at that game exactly as if that kick went over the goal or not,” Blair said. “Henry isn’t a frontline kicker, but he got up and wanted to do that. It was a tough kick, he didn’t make it, and of course he’s upset about it. The game was lost in those last ten minutes and not with that kick.

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“I’m disappointed that I didn’t win, but I’m proud of the boys’ performance. In the first quarter of the game I thought we weren’t quite there mentally. On the plus side, the way we came back and the guts, guts and skill that we brought to the game was absolutely outstanding.”

Henry Pyrgos and Immelman both attempted drop goals in the opening minutes, but the former’s attempt came back off the bar and Immelman’s was wide. When WP Nel In the first scrum, however, Bull’s fly-half was penalized ChrisSmith was on goal with the kick from the Edinburgh half.

After this opening result, the bulls steadily prevailed and extended their lead Johan Grobbelaar crossed the line after a tap penalty and Smith converted. The number of penalties against the Scots continued to increase and Give Gilchrist paid the price for the repeated insult of being sent to the bucket of sin. Another penalty then allowed the Bulls to mimic their first try from a tap and go: No. 8 Elrick Louw finished it this time, rolled over and landed through despite a strong try Pierre Schoemann to hold him.

Smith’s missed conversion was pretty much the first thing to go right for Edinburgh but they hit back when Savala landed in the left corner after a superb break by Jacob Lang. Markus Bennett transformed.

This result gave Edinburgh a lot of confidence and they got a second try Darcy Graham outflanked a sluggish defense down the right, with Bennett, who had provided the shot on target for the winger, adding the two points again.

Given that Blair’s team were 15 points and a man down, it was a more than acceptable situation to start the second half, even if they were to lose Gilchrist to a cut hand in the last minute before the break. But much of that good work was undone in the opening minute of the second half after Immelman put in an excellent performance to keep up Ruan Norjethe cops recycled the right for Cornal Hendricks to finish.

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Smith added the two points but Edinburgh hit back in an unexpected way. A long-range shot from Bennett bounced off a post and Graham got to the free ball, hacked on and then landed for his second try of the afternoon. Bennett missed the conversion.

Smith made no such mistake with a penalty minutes later and then Graham struck again. An impromptu pass from the deck over Bill Mata found Immelman at full length and the full-back set his winger on a straight run to the line to complete his hat-trick. The missed conversion left Edinburgh a point.

In the last quarter, the Bulls’ substitutes began to break into the Edinburgh defense and eventually Embrose paperdelivered a perfectly timed pass to the winger Stravin Jacobs. The conversion attempt was missed, leaving the lead at six points.

If the Bulls thought that would do, Edinburgh had other ideas. With ten minutes left, a play on the line ended with Damien Hoyland scoring his team’s fifth try. This time, Bennett converted to put his team ahead in the competition for the first time.

With five minutes to go, Immelman had a chance to extend the lead to four points, but his penalty attempt went just wide. That allowed Steyn, fresh off the bench, to put the Bulls back in front when he turned over a penalty from the 10-yard line.

A high tackle by Jacobs on Bennett gave Immelman one last chance, but what his kick had in power, it lacked in accuracy. Having just lost to last season’s runners-up, Edinburgh are next up against champions Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday. Kinghorn should be fit but Van der Walt, Bennett and Gilchrist are doubtful with injuries.

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“It was definitely a disappointing start, the first quarter of the game,” Blair later added. “I didn’t think we were that far mentally. That gave the bulls some easy ideas by not being on enough.

“On the plus side, the way we came back from that and the guts, guts and skill that we brought to the game was absolutely outstanding. In the beginning the cushion was too big, but we got back into position to win the game. It was an outstanding performance.”

teams –

Cops: J Goosen; C Hendricks (S Goose 54), L Mapoe, D Kriel, S Jacobs; C. Smith (M. Steyn 70), Z. Burger (E. Paper 57); G Steenekamp (S Matanzima 62), J Grobbelaar (JH Wessels 66), M Smith (F Klopper 61), W Steenkamp, ​​R Nortje (J Swanepoel 57), M Coetzee (Captain), R Vermaak (M van Staden 54 ), E Louw.

Edinburgh: H. Immelman; Graham D, Bennett M, Lang J, Hoyland D; J van der Walt (C Savala 11), H Pyrgos (B Vellacott 66); P Schoeman (B Venter 54), D Cherry (S McInally 56), W Nel (L de Bruin 58), S Skinner, G Gilchrist (M Sykes 40-55), J Ritchie (Captain), L Crosbie (H Watson 18 -28, 41), V Mata (M Sykes 70).

Referee: A Jones (Wales).

scorers –

Cops: Trials: Grobbelaar, Louw, Hendricks, Jacobs; Cons: C Smith 2; Pens: C Smith 2, Steyn.

Edinburgh: Experiments: Savala, Graham 3, Hoyland; Cons: Bennett 3.

Scoring order (bulls first): 3-0; 8-0; 10-0; 15-0; 15-5; 15-7; 15-12; 15-14 (ht) 20-14; 22-14; 22-19; 25-19; 25-24; 30-24; 30-29; 30-31; 33-31.

Yellow card –

Edinburgh: Gilchrist

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