Super Rugby: Bulls score three tries to clinch first win at Eden Park
The Bulls registered the first victory by a South African side at Eden Park with a 28-21 triumph over the Blues.
Last Updated: 10/03/13 10:26am
Tries from flanker Arno Botha and wing duo Lionel Mapoe and Akona Ndungane, combined with 13 points from Morne Steyn's boot, moved the Bulls to the top of the South African conference.
George Piutau and Rene Ranger touched down for the hosts, who fielded six new caps as they bidded to start the campaign with a third straight win.
The Bulls took a grip on proceedings with two tries in the space of five first-half minutes, Mapoe getting the first of them after some good work by the pack.
Steyn added the conversion from out wide to put the visitors 10-6 ahead and they stretched further clear soon after thanks to Ndungane's finish on the opposite flank.
All the Blues managed in the first 40 minutes were a pair of penalties from Baden Kerr, who also missed another attempt.
He did make the score 15-9 with three points shortly after the break before Auckland claimed an unlikely lead thanks to Pitau crossing out wide.
However, the Bulls hit back just three minutes later when a Ndungane break was finished off by Botha. Steyn added the extras and also a further penalty to make it 25-16.
Ranger set up a rousing final five minutes when he touched down, substitute Marty McKenzie's conversion cutting the gap to four points. That, though, was as close as the young Blues would get to their opponents, a Steyn penalty completing the scoring with the last play of the game.