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Super Rugby: Bulls prove too tough for Cheetahs
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The Cheetahs' Super Rugby winning streak came to a halt in Pretoria on Saturday as the Bulls won 26-20 in a hotly contested derby.
Two second-half tries, from Jano Vermaak and replacement hooker Callie Visagie, proved enough for the hosts to grab victory in a highly-entertaining game.
The result hung in the balance in the dying minutes after Cheetahs prop Trevor Nyakane crashed over for the Free Staters' only score.
The Cheetahs led 9-6 at the end of a high-paced and open but ultimately try-less first half.
The Bulls enjoyed 60 per cent of the territory and possession in the first 25 minutes but had nothing to show for it as the Cheetahs led 6-0 thanks to two penalties from Burton Francis.
Morné Steyn finally got the hosts on the scoreboard around the half-hour mark with two penalties in the space of three minutes to level the scores.
But the Bulls' frustration continued as Francis punished another error to give the visitors the advantage at the interval.
The men in blue finally broke through though as scrum-half Vermaak went on a sniping run to beat five defenders on his way to the line.
Steyn added the extras to put the Bulls ahead at 13-9 before the opposing fly-halves exchanged penalties to leave the Bulls up 19-12 going into the final ten minutes.
Nyakane's try from close range gave Francis the chance to bring his team level but the former Bulls man sent his conversion effort wide.
The Bulls didn't sit back though and Visagie grabbed their second try as the home pack rumbled over.
Another former Bulls fly-half, Francois Brummer added a last-minute penalty to save the bonus point for the Cheetahs.