Super Rugby: Brumbies shock the Bulls with late Tevita Kuridrani try
Last Updated: 28/07/13 10:09am
A last-gasp try from Tevita Kuridrani saw the Brumbies stun the Bulls 26-23 to reach the Super Rugby final.
The Australian champions were trailing their hosts 23-19 when Matt Toomua off-loaded to Kuridrani to score the decisive 78th-minute try, which the TMO allowed after some question of a forward pass.
The Brumbies will play the reigning champions Chiefs in Hamilton next Saturday, in a mouth-watering clash being shown live on Sky Sports 1 from 8am.
Early on it appeared that the match would be anything but tight, with the Brumbies racing to a 10-0 lead thanks to a Christian Leali'ifano penalty and Jesse Mogg's try.
The try came after great work from Henry Speight. The winger attacked the Bulls line at pace, bursting past defenders and brushing off the challenge of Bjorn Basson with a great hand-off before he off-loaded behind his back to Mogg who dived over in the corner, with Leali'ifano adding the extras.
But the Bulls reduced the deficit soon afterwards when JJ Engelbrecht walked over the top of Speight and dotted down for the hosts' first points.
Morne Steyn and Leali'ifano then proceeded to exchange penalties as the two teams went into the break with the Brumbies holding a 16-11 advantage.
It was the Bulls who started strongest in the second period and they were nearly rewarded for their efforts with a try from Grant Hattingh. The second rower looked set to round off a period of sustained pressure as he burst for the line, but the combination of a superb tackle from George Smith and some smart hands from Nic White saw him held up.
The Bulls would add three points nonetheless via a Steyn penalty but Leali'ifano kicked his own to leave the visitors 19-14 up.
Steyn then kicked two more penalties to see the hosts take a 20-19 lead into the final quarter and with the momentum firmly with them.
But turning down three easy penalties in favour of running the ball ultimately cost the Bulls. With three points then on offer for the fourth time, Steyn was given instructions to kick for the posts after an infringement at scrum time and he made no mistake.
But the Brumbies refused to lie down and with less than two minutes on the clock, Toomua broke down the near touchline before passing inside to Kuridrani who dived over to put the men from Canberra ahead once more. Leali'ifano added the extras to ensure a penalty or drop-goal would not be enough for the Bulls to win it.
With the re-start cleanly taken, the hooter sounded as Leali'ifano hammered the ball into touch to send his side into the final, where they will now have the chance to go for a third Super Rugby title.
Super Rugby 2013 semi-finals
The Chiefs beat the Crusaders in the first Super Rugby semi-final to secure their place in the final.
The Chiefs moved a step closer to retaining their Super Rugby crown with a 20-19 victory over the Crusaders.
South African champions the Bulls take on the Brumbies with a place in the Super Rugby final up for grabs.