Vodacom Super Rugby Review – Round 18

Jul 15 • General News, National, Super Rugby, Super Rugby Fixtures, Super Rugby Logs, Super Rugby News, Super Rugby Results • 808 Views • 1 Comment

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The DHL Stormers topped the Vodacom Super Rugby log for the first time and will be joined in the Finals Series by two other South African teams as the Vodacom Bulls and The Sharks also qualified for the playoffs.

The DHL Stormers, who fired hot and cold in their 26-21 win over the Rebels in Cape Town, will enjoy a bye next weekend while the Vodacom Bulls and The Sharks will have to travel to Australasia to face the Crusaders and the Reds respectively.

The Sharks played some sublime rugby in the second half against the Toyota Cheetahs. The KwaZulu-Natalians turned a 6-15 half-time deficit into a victory by 34-15. They travel to Brisbane next weekend to take on the defending champions, the Reds, in the Qualifiers.

At Loftus Versfeld, the Vodacom Bulls also didn’t concede a solitary point after the break – they beat the MTN Lions by 37-20 after the scores were tied at 20-all at the break. The three-time champions from Pretoria will face the seven-time champion Crusaders in Christchurch in the other Qualifier.

The Vodacom Bulls’ qualifier will take place at 09h35 on Saturday, July 21 in Christchurch and The Sharks will play on the same day at 11h40 in Brisbane.

For the Toyota Cheetahs and the MTN Lions the season finished on a bit of a low note as they both lost their final matches of 2012.

In the Australian Conference, the Brumbies tripped over the last hurdle against the Blues (30-16) and were overtaken at the death of the league phase by the defending champions, the Reds, who topped their log after a great win over the Waratahs (32-16).

Sadly for the team from Canberra, coached by former Springbok mentor Jake White and who set the pace in Australia since the beginning of the season, they missed out on a place in the playoffs by one log point. A solitary bonus point in their defeat against the Blues would’ve been enough to put the Brumbies in the Finals Series, but it was not to be.

In New Zealand, the Chiefs were crowned champions while the Crusaders also made the Finals Series for the second successive season.

Out of the six teams that contested the Finals Series last year, four are back – the DHL Stormers, Crusaders, Reds and Sharks. The Waratahs and Blues make way for the Chiefs and Vodacom Bulls in the top six.

Bryan Habana goes over for what he thought was as try. Photo by Mike la Grange /Rugby15.

DHL Stormers 26 (16) vs Rebels 21 (0)

The Chiefs’ last-minute defeat on Friday meant the DHL Stormers only needed a win against the Rebels to move to first spot on the log, which they duly did at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

The DHL Stormers won by 26-21, but yet again they struggled to put together a complete performance. The two tries the Capetonians scored were the fewest ever conceded by the Rebels against a South African team. But it was also the team from Melbourne’s eighth consecutive defeat against teams from South Africa.

Interestingly enough, the DHL Stormers went through the entire season without scoring any bonus points for four tries – they are the first side to make the playoffs without getting a try-scoring bonus point.

Furthermore, the 28 tries scored by the DHL Stormers are the least by any team in the competition this year. They conceded three against the Rebels to push the try count against them up to 21 – also the fewest in Vodacom Super Rugby in 2012.

Juan de Jongh got a brace for the DHL Stormers against the Rebels, while Peter Grant added 16 points with the boot through two conversions and four penalty goals. He didn’t miss a single shot at goal and pushed his season tally up to a superb 45 from 49 kicks at goal.

Scorers:

 

DHL Stormers – Tries: Juan de Jongh (2). Conversions: Peter Grant (2). Penalty goals: Grant (4).

Rebels – Tries: Rodney Blake, Nick Phipps, Cooper Vuna. Conversions: Julian Huxley (3).

 

Boom Prinsloo contesting the highball in Durban against Pat Lambie. Photo by Denese Lups /Rugby15.

The Sharks 34 (6) vs Toyota Cheetahs 15 (15)

A superb second-half performance by The Sharks was enough to book their place in the Vodacom Super Rugby Finals Series as they beat the Toyota Cheetahs by 34-15 at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

At the break, the visitors were still in the lead by 15-6, but the KwaZulu-Natalians moved into a higher gear as they “won” the second half by an impressive 28-0, scoring four converted tries in the process.

Interestingly all three The Sharks’ starting loose forwards, Keegan Daniel, Marcell Coetzee and Ryan Kankowski, got on the score sheet, while Charl McLeod (scrumhalf) got their other try.

Their defence was also very solid, for a second consecutive week since the June Test break. Last week against the Vodacom Bulls they conceded one try and on Saturday The Sharks kept a clean sheet against a Toyota Cheetahs side that have shown they can score tries this year.

The Sharks were disrupted with a few changes before kickoff, but once they settled in the second half – coupled with an injury to the Toyota Cheetahs’ livewire loose forward Heinrich Brüssow – the Durbanites found their groove and booked their spot in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Scorers:

The Sharks – Tries: Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod, Marcell Coetzee, Ryan Kankowski. Conversions: Fred Michalak (4). Penalty goals: Michalak (2).

Toyota Cheetahs – Penalty goals: Riaan Smit (5).

Michael Bondisio gets his pass away under pressure from the Bulls. Photo by Anton Geyser /Rugby15.

Vodacom Bulls 37 (20) vs MTN Lions 20 (20)

The Vodacom Bulls made the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs for the sixth time in eight years when they beat the MTN Lions by 37-20 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria to finish fifth on the log in 2012.

Last year the Vodacom Bulls missed out by losing their final match, against The Sharks, but they didn’t make the same mistake this year, making sure three South African sides progress to the knock-out phase of the competition.

The Pretorians scored four tries but could not convert at least three other try-scoring opportunities, making too many unforced errors in the process.

Akona Ndungane got an intercept try in the first half while his wing-partner for the Vodacom Bulls, Bjorn Basson, got his 10th try of the season when he ran a great line off Francois Hougaard.

Basson set a new Bulls record for the most tries in a season with this five-pointer and is the joint-leader with the Hurricanes’ Andre Taylor for the most tries in 2012.

The MTN Lions fought back with tries to Michael Bondesio and Josh Strauss before the break, but in the second half Hougaard and Jacques Potgieter scored for the home side to put them firmly back into the lead.

Morné Steyn added 17 points to finish the season as the top points’ scorer with 225 – one more than Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs.

Scorers:

 

Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Akona Ndungane, Bjorn Basson, Francois Hougaard, Jacques Potgieter. Conversions: Morné Steyn (4). Penalty goals: Steyn (3).

 

MTN Lions – Tries: Michael Bondesio, Josh Strauss. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Jantjies (2).

Other results – Round 18:

Hurricanes 28 Chiefs 25 (Wellington)

Brumbies 16 Blues 30 (Canberra)

Crusaders 38 Force 24 (Christchurch)

Reds 32 Waratahs 16 (Brisbane)

Final Vodacom Super Rugby Logs for 2012: 

Combined Log

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

DHL Stormers (SA winner)

16

14

0

2

350

254

96

28

21

2

66

2

Chiefs (NZ winner)

16

12

0

4

444

358

86

47

30

8

64

3

Reds (Aus winner)

16

11

0

5

359

347

12

38

36

6

58

4

Crusaders (Wild card)

16

11

0

5

485

343

142

47

34

9

61

5

Vodacom Bulls (Wild card)

16

10

0

6

472

369

103

50

38

11

59

6

The Sharks (Wild card)

16

10

0

6

436

348

88

47

31

11

59

7

Brumbies

16

10

0

6

404

331

73

41

31

10

58

8

Hurricanes

16

10

0

6

489

429

60

58

39

9

57

9

Highlanders

16

9

0

7

359

385

-26

36

31

6

50

10

Toyota Cheetahs

16

5

0

11

391

458

-67

35

47

10

38

11

Waratahs

16

4

0

12

346

407

-61

33

43

11

35

12

Blues

16

4

0

12

359

430

-71

34

50

8

32

13

Rebels

16

4

0

12

362

520

-158

37

59

8

32

14

Force

16

3

0

13

306

440

-134

30

49

7

27

15

MTN Lions

16

3

0

13

317

460

-143

30

52

5

25

South African Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

DHL Stormers

16

14

0

2

350

254

96

28

21

2

66

2

Vodacom Bulls

16

10

0

6

472

369

103

50

38

11

59

3

The Sharks

16

10

0

6

436

348

88

47

31

11

59

4

Toyota Cheetahs

16

5

0

11

391

458

-67

35

47

10

38

5

MTN Lions

16

3

0

13

317

460

-143

30

52

5

25

New Zealand Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

Chiefs

16

12

0

4

444

358

86

47

30

8

64

2

Crusaders

16

11

0

5

485

343

142

47

34

9

61

3

Hurricanes

16

10

0

6

489

429

60

58

39

9

57

4

Highlanders

16

9

0

7

359

385

-26

36

31

6

50

5

Blues

16

4

0

12

359

430

-71

34

50

8

32

Australian Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

Reds

16

11

0

5

359

347

12

38

36

6

58

2

Brumbies

16

10

0

6

404

331

73

41

31

10

58

3

Waratahs

16

4

0

12

346

407

-61

33

43

11

35

4

Rebels

16

4

0

12

362

520

-158

37

59

8

32

5

Force

16

3

0

13

306

440

-134

30

49

7

27

Top 20 points’ scorers:

Player Team

Tries

Conv

Pen

Drops

Tot

Morné Steyn Vodacom Bulls

1

38

45

3

225

Aaron Cruden Chiefs

3

37

45

0

224

Beauden Barrett Hurricanes

2

35

39

0

197

Tom Taylor Crusaders

1

15

37

0

146

Johan Goosen Toyota Cheetahs

3

17

31

1

145

Mike Harris Reds

0

21

33

1

144

Patrick Lambie Sharks

1

20

32

0

141

Peter Grant DHL Stormers

2

15

30

0

130

Elton Jantjies MTN Lions

0

21

28

0

126

Christian Lealiifano Brumbies

0

17

25

0

109

Gareth Anscombe Blues

2

13

21

1

102

Joe Pietersen DHL Stormers

2

6

25

0

97

Brendan McKibbin Waratahs

1

16

19

0

94

David Harvey Force

1

12

20

0

89

Chris Noakes Highlanders

2

14

16

0

86

James O`Connor Rebels

2

6

21

0

85

Zack Holmes Brumbies

2

8

16

0

74

Frederic Michalak Sharks

2

18

8

0

70

Dan Carter Crusaders

1

19

7

2

70

Lachie Munro Blues

3

10

11

0

68

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One Response to Vodacom Super Rugby Review – Round 18

  1. trevor anderson says:

    I predict a Sharks Crusaders final with the Sharks winning

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