· Jaguares comeback stuns Vodacom Bulls at Loftus
· Bosch sublime in Cell C Sharks’ Highveld triumph
· DHL Stormers suffer more pain on the road
The Cell C Sharks moved to the top of the South African Conference log with their comprehensive, Curwin Bosch-inspired 42-5 triumph over the Emirates Lions on Friday. Meanwhile, the DHL Stormers endured more pain on the road as they went down 24-12 to the Reds in Brisbane on Friday, while the Jaguares stunned the Loftus faithful after they pipped the Vodacom Bulls 22-20 on Saturday afternoon.
The DHL Stormers will conclude their Australasian tour this coming Friday in Melbourne against the Rebels (11h45), while the Emirates Lions begin their road trip next Saturday when they visit the Brumbies in Canberra (11h45).
In next weekend’s local fixtures the Cell C Sharks go up against the Jaguares in Durban (15h05) while the Vodacom Bulls host the Reds in Pretoria (17h15).
Jaguares comeback stuns Vodacom Bulls at Loftus
The Vodacom Bulls slipped to a disappointing 22-20 defeat against the Jaguares at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday, which handed the South Americans a double over the team from Pretoria, who held a slender 9-7 lead at the break.
Two tries in the final 10 minutes stunned the home side and the Loftus Versfeld faithful.
The defeat also means that the Vodacom Bulls – who could have moved to the top of the South African Conference standings – now trail the Cell C Sharks (21 points) by three points. The point they earned, however, allowed the Pretoria side to move into second spot on the local log and sixth on the overall standings.
This result for the Jaguares followed a 27-12 victory against the Vodacom Bulls back on 23 February, but while the South Americans earned four points for their win they remain bottom of the SA Conference log.
The Vodacom Bulls were their own worst enemies in the clash and finished the match with 13 men as replacements Tim Agaba and Conraad van Vuuren received yellow cards.
In that time replacement back Domingo Miotti scored a brace of tries and he successfully converted the second try to edge his charges ahead for a surprise win.
A try by flank Pablo Matera in the first half, which flyhalf Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias converted, marked the visitors’ only points in the first half, while Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Manie Libbok kicked three penalty goals to keep his side in front.
Winger Jade Stighling scored a try and Libbok slotted over two more penalty goals in the second half to hand the home side a 10-point lead, however, two yellow cards and two late tries eventually sealed the home team’s fate.
Vodacom Bulls 20 (9) – Try: Jade Stighling; Penalties: Manie Libbok (5).
Jaguares 22 (7) – Tries: Pablo Matera, Domingo Miotti (2); Conversions: Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Miotti. Penalty: Iglesias.
Bosch sublime in Cell C Sharks’ Highveld triumph
Curwin Bosch delivered a sublime performance to help steer the Cell C Sharks to a sparkling 42-5 triumph over the Emirates Lions on a wet Friday evening in Johannesburg.
Robert du Preez’s team outscored the home side by six tries to one to bag a well-deserved bonus-point victory for a rare win on the Highveld. This followed a last-minute loss to the Vodacom Bulls in Durban in their previous outing.
The convincing win was also the perfect gift for experienced Cell C Sharks prop Beast Mtawarira, who became the South African record-holder for the most appearances in the competition as he earned his 157th cap for the Durban team.
The Durbanites also leapfrogged the Highvelders into first place on the South African Conference log, and they now sit on 21 points from seven matches – three more than the Emirates Lions.
The visitors hardly put a foot wrong in an impressive first-half display, which was marked by superb attacking play by Bosch, another silky midfield performance by Lukhanyo Am and some clinical finishing by speedster Makazole Mapimpi.
Jacques Vermeulen opened the try scoring for the visiting team and he was followed by Mapimpi (2) and Am. However, it was Bosch who grabbed the attention throughout with some dazzling runs from deep, while he also had a helping hand in almost every threatening move by the visiting side.
Replacement Sylvian Mahuza scored the home team’s consolation try two minutes before the end, however, the last laugh belonged to the Cell C Sharks and Bosch, who popped up once more for a try-assist to put replacement Aphelele Fassi over in the corner.
Emirates Lions 5 (0) – Try: Sylvian Mahuza.
Cell C Sharks 42 (25) – Tries: Jacques Vermeulen, Makazole Mapimpi (2), Lukhanyo Am, Thomas du Toit, Aphelele Fassi; Conversions: Robert du Preez, Curwin Bosch (2); Penalties: Du Preez, Bosch.
DHL Stormers suffer more pain on the road
Two quick tries early in the second half unsettled the DHL Stormers in the third game on their Australasian tour, and they ultimately lost to the Reds by 24-12 in Brisbane on Friday.
The scores were tied at 0-0 at the break and the Capetonians would have rued a couple of missed chances in the first half. Twice in the first 20 minutes they crossed the try-line, with a matter of inches between Damian Willemse and Sergeal Petersen scoring tries for the visitors.
Both teams defended well in the opening half, but it was a piece of cynical play by Siya Kolisi which broke the dam wall. The DHL Stormers captain was yellow-carded right before the break and during the 10 minutes he spent in the sin bin, the Reds scored twice, through Samu Kerevi and Brandon Paenga, to take a 14-0 lead after 45 minutes.
The visitors fought back through a try by Kobus van Dyk, but when Tate McDermott tapped quickly from a penalty and exploited a momentary lapse of concentration by the visitors, the win was basically sealed for the Reds, even though Damian De Allende added a second try for Robbie Fleck’s team.
The DHL Stormers’ biggest problems were their struggle to convert their opportunities into points, a lack of patience on attack and too many mistakes. Their tour Down Under concludes next week against the top side in the Australian Conference, the Rebels in Melbourne.
Reds 24 (0) – Tries: Samu Kerevi, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Tate McDermott. Conversions: Bryce Hegarty (3). Penalty goal: Hegarty.
DHL Stormers 12 (0) – Tries: Kobus van Dyk, Damian de Allende. Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Other Round 8 results of the weekend:
Friday, 5 April
Highlanders 28, Hurricanes 31
Saturday, 6 April
Crusaders 36, Brumbies 14
Blues 32, Waratahs 29
Rebels 42, Sunwolves 15
To access the Match Centre for the latest logs and statistics, click here.