- Cell C Sharks suffer cruel defeat to Hurricanes in thrilling Napier contest
Young winger Madosh Tambwe scored four tries to help steer the Emirates Lions to a comprehensive 52-31 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the DHL Stormers on Saturday evening in Johannesburg.
On Friday morning the Cell C Sharks suffered a heart-breaking 38-37 loss to the Hurricanes in Napier after they conceded a converted try in the fourth minute after the final hooter. Although the coastal side can be very proud of their outstanding effort, they will be disappointed at their failure to close out the match.
The Vodacom Bulls, who defeated the DHL Stormers in last week’s derby clash in Pretoria, had a bye over the weekend. Meanwhile in the remaining South African Conference match played last night in Buenos Aires, the Jaguares went down 40-14 to the Crusaders.
The Emirates Lions put a difficult few weeks behind them with Saturday’s outstanding performance against the Cape side, who struggled to match their forward dominance and pace on attack. They increased their points tally to 25 at the top of the South African conference, 11 points more than the second-placed Cell C Sharks while the DHL Stormers are now 12 points behind the local log leaders.
Twenty year old Tambwe scored a blitzkrieg 13-minute hat-trick of tries as the Highveld team raced into a comfortable early lead against their Cape rivals. He scored his fourth shortly after the restart before leaving the field because of a leg injury. His outstanding individual performance landed him the Man of the Match accolade.
The Gauteng outfit suffered home defeats against the Blues and the Crusaders but they bounced back in splendid fashion against the visitors who fell to their second successive away loss on the Highveld. Springbok wing Ruan Combrinck celebrated his return from a long injury spell by grabbing one of the hosts’ other eight tries. The win comes as a timely boost for their four away matches against Australian and New Zealand opponents.
Leading by nine points with just three minutes to play on the clock, the Cell C Sharks conceded a penalty and then a last-gasp converted try which condemned them to a cruel loss to the Canes.
The match was a thrilling affair and the side from Durban was in control for a big part of the game thanks to some excellent attacking play, good defence and accurate kicking from flyhalf Robert du Preez, who contributed 17 points with the boot.
Ruan Botha’s team fully deserved their 27-19 halftime lead but they did conceded a lot of penalties in the second stanza as the Hurricanes came fighting back. With replacement hooker Franco Marais off the field with a yellow card, centre Ngani Lamaupi went over for the deciding try in the last movement of the match to grab the win for a jubilant home side.
The two sides scored four tries each in a high-tempo match.
In next weekend’s round nine fixtures the Cell C Sharks entertain the Vodacom Bulls in Durban on Saturday while the DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions and Crusaders each have a bye.
Emirates Lions 52, DHL Stormers 31
Emirates Lions 52 – Tries: Madosh Tambwe (4), Lionel Mapoe, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Ruan Combrinck; Conversions: Elton Jantjies (6).
DHL Stormers 31 – Tries: Wilco Louw, Damian Willemse, Paul de Wet, Penalty Try. Conversions: SP Marais (2), Willemse; Penalty: Marais.
Hurricanes 38, Cell C Sharks 37
Hurricanes 38 – Tries: Jordy Barrett, Ngani Laumapi (2), Vince Aso; Conversions: Ihaia West (3); Penalties: West (4)
Cell C Sharks 37 – Tries: Lwazi Mvovo, Louis Schreuder, Lukhanyo Am and Tyler Paul; Conversions: Robert du Preez (4); Penalties: Du Preez (3)
In other Round 8 action this weekend:
Saturday, 7 April
Sunwolves 29, Waratahs 50
Chiefs 21, Blues 19
Brumbies 45, Reds 21
Jaguares 14, Crusaders 40
Byes: Vodacom Bulls, Rebels, Highlanders
The updated log after this weekend’s Round 7 action:
New Zealand Conference
South African Conference
|2||Cell C Sharks||7||2||1||4||224||220||4||14|