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Final set to be a battle of styles

THE Super 14 final between South Africa's Bulls and New Zealand's Waikato Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld this weekend will provide a tantalizing matchup between two contrasting styles.

The Bulls, winners in 2007, used 21 points from the boot of Morne Steyn - including a record four drop goals - to beat last year's champs the Canterbury Crusaders 36-23 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Down 7-20 in the first half, the Bulls went back to their game-plan of using their massive pack to keep play tight, with the boot of Steyn pinning the Crusaders back in their own half and taking the points when offered.

While they scored two tries through flying wingers Bryan Habana and Akona Ndungane and another from rampaging No. 8 Pierre Spies, the fact that Steyn slotted four drop goals highlighted their patience.

The Chiefs, however, showcased their explosive try-scoring with the match-winner by captain Mils Muliaina ending a sweeping counter-attack in their 14-10 win over the Wellington Hurricanes.

Muliania's try came from a poor kick by Hurricanes flyhalf Willie Ripia, allowing Sitiveni Sivivatu to run into open space and feed scrumhalf Toby Morland, who then turned the ball back inside to Muliaina.

The Chiefs got mixed news about two of their All Blacks yesterday. Winger Sivivatu has been ruled out after suffering a dislocated shoulder during the second half of the semifinal.

Center Richard Kahui missed the match with a calf injury but was included in the 24-man squad that leaves for Pretoria today.


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