Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions highlights of the weekend

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A historic end to an Australian tour for the Emirates Lions with three victories from four and a comprehensive victory for the Vodacom Bulls over the Crusaders highlighted the weekend’s Vodacom SupeRugby action.

While the DHL Stormers and the Toyota Cheetahs were defeated in their respective matches in New Zealand, the Cell C Sharks moved to the top of the South African Conference log following their victory over the Force in Durban.

Vodacom Bulls pivot Handre Pollard continued his good run of form as he ended the weekend second in the Points category behind the Chiefs’ Aaron Cruden on 17.

Pollard scored one point less as he topped the Penalty Goals bracket with the Crusaders’ Dan Carter with four apiece.

The Springbok pivot is the leading points scorer so far this season on 108 points with Sharks flyhalf Pat Lambie 18 points behind him in second place.

Playing in his 100th Vodacom SupeRugby match, Stormers flanker Schalk Burger displayed the grit that has made him one of the most recognisable figures in world rugby.

Burger’s 22 Carries in his side’s defeat to the Highlanders was the most in the seventh round with Kurtley Beale of the Waratahs and the Rebels’ Scott Higginbotham tied in second place with 19.

Stormers captain Juan de Jongh also led from the front making the second most (three) Clean Breaks along with Brad Weber (Chiefs), Israel Dagg (Crusaders) and Mitch Inman (Rebels) behind the Crusaders’ Andy Ellis with four.

Meanwhile, Bulls centre Burger Odendaal made a dream Vodacom SupeRugby debut as he scored a try on debut while sharing second place in the Defenders Beaten bracket with team-mate Jesse Kriel.

The Bulls duo beat eight defenders on the night with George Moala of the Blues leading the category with nine.

 

Round-7 Stats:

 

Points:

1. Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) – 17

2. Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 16

3. Dan Carter (Crusaders) – 14

4. Bernard Foley (Waratahs) – 13

5. Mike Harris (Rebels) – 12

 

Penalty Goals:

1. Dan Carter (Crusaders) – 4

2. Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 4

3. Mike Harris (Rebels) – 4

4. Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) – 3

5. Bernard Foley (Waratahs) – 3

 

Kicks from Hand:

1. Francois Steyn (Sharks) – 13

2. Sias Ebersohn (Force) – 12

3. Dane Haylett-Petty (Force) – 11

4. Joe Pietersen (Cheetahs) – 10

5. Andy Ellis (Crusaders) – 9

 

Clean Breaks:

1. Andy Ellis (Crusaders) – 4

2. Brad Weber (Chiefs) – 3

3. Israel Dagg (Crusaders) – 3

4. Juan de Jongh (Stormers) – 3

5. Mitch Inman (Rebels) – 3

 

Carries:

1. Schalk Burger (Stormers) – 22

2. Kurtley Beale (Waratahs) – 19

3. Scott Higginbotham (Rebels) – 19

4. Dane Haylett-Petty (Force) – 18

5. Israel Folau (Waratahs) – 18

 

Defenders Beaten:

1. George Moala (Blues) – 9

2. Burger Odendaal (Bulls) – 8

3. Jesse Kriel (Bulls) – 8

4. Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) – 6

5. Dane Haylett-Petty (Force) – 5

 

 

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