· Snyman shines as Vodacom Bulls stampede Reds
· Fiery Jaguares maul Cell C Sharks in Durban
· Brumbies gallop away from valiant Emirates Lions
· Resilient DHL Stormers down Rebels in Melbourne
The Vodacom Bulls returned to winning ways and to the top of the South African Conference table thanks to their 32-17 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the Reds on Saturday evening in Pretoria.
On Friday, the DHL Stormers beat the Rebels 41-24 in Melbourne to finish their four-match Australasian tour on a positive note. In their match on Saturday afternoon the Cell C Sharks succumbed to a disappointing 51-17 loss to the Jaguares in Durban, while the Emirates Lions stumbled in their tour opener when the Brumbies won their Canberra clash by 31-20.
The Pretoria side is now top of the local log with 23 points from eight matches and they are followed by the Durbanites on 21, the Jaguares (19), DHL Stormers (18) and the Emirates Lions (18).
Snyman shines as Vodacom Bulls stampede Reds
Springbok lock RG Snyman celebrated his return from injury with a high quality performance for the Vodacom Bulls who stampeded the Reds 32-17 in their game on Saturday evening in Pretoria.
The Pretoria outfit shrugged off their last-minute loss to the Jaguares in the previous round to outscore the Queenslanders by five tries to two for their deserved bonus-point win at Loftus. The home victory enabled them to move above the Cell C Sharks into the top spot of the South Africa Conference table with 23 points from eight games, three more than the second-placed Durban side.
It was a much changed home side that took the field against the Australian visitors, with several regular stalwarts such as Handre Pollard and Jesse Kriel returning to the starting fifteen after sitting out the previous round. Several of their team mates, including Snyman, Marco van Staden and Warrick Gelant also made a welcome return to action following their return to action from injury.
Snyman, the big and mobile Springbok lock, was at the heart of almost all his side’s forward exchanges and he was especially impressive with ball in hand, finding his team mates with his well-timed offloads. He was deservedly rewarded with the Man of the Match accolade.
Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka scored their opening while Pollard was on target with the conversion and two penalties for a ten-point halftime lead. The Vodacom Bulls step up a gear after the break and immediately increased their lead after the restart when Pollard ran a hard line to dive over for a converted tries. The men from eventually scored five tries in total to secure a comfortable win.
Hard-running midfielder and skipper Samu Kerevi dotted down the Reds’ only two tries.
Vodacom Bulls 32 (17) – Tries: Lizo Gqoboka, Marco van Staden, Handré Pollard, Hanro Liebenberg, Jade Stighling; Conversions: Pollard (2). Penalty: Pollard.
Reds 17 (3) – Tries: Samu Kerevi (2); Conversions: Bryce Hegarty (2); Penalty: Hegarty.
Fiery Jaguares maul Cell C Sharks in Durban
The Jaguares brought the Cell C Sharks down to earth with a hefty bump when they outclassed the home side for a comprehensive 51-17 triumph in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
The Durbanites were superb in their previous outing against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg, but on this occasion they struggled on home turf against the well-organised South Americans. A poor defensive efforts saw them conceding seven tries and by halftime they were already 21-10 behind and chasing the game after the visitors had scored three times.
The 51 points scored by the Jaguares is the second-most ever conceded by the Cell C Sharks in Durban – one less than the 52 scored by the Crusaders at Jonsson Kings Park in 2015. The international-laden Jaguares stamped their authority from an early stage and kept the pressure on throughout while keeping the scoreboard ticking at regular intervals.
Hyron Andrews and Aphelele Fassi scored for the home side, while Matias Orlado led the scoring spree for the visitors with a hat-trick of tries, followed by Tomas Cubelli, Pablo Matera (2) and Matias Moroni.
Cell C Sharks 17 (10) – Tries: Hyron Andrews, Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Rob du Preez, Curwin Bosch. Penalty: Du Preez.
Jaguares 51 (21) – Tries: Tomas Cubelli, Pablo Matera (2), Matias Orlando (3), Matias Moroni. Conversions: Domingo Miotti (5). Penalties: Miotti (2).
Brumbies gallop away from valiant Emirates Lions
The Emirates Lions fought gallantly, but in the end the Brumbies were too good and secured a 31-20 victory in Canberra on Saturday morning (SA time).
It wasn’t the start to their Australasian tour the team from Johannesburg would have hoped for and they must now regroup for their remaining tour matches against the Chiefs and Crusaders.
While the Emirates Lions created enough scoring opportunities, their high error-rate would have been a big concern for the Highvelders’ coaching team, especially as they leaked 42 points against the Cell C Sharks at home last weekend.
Springbok speedster Aphiwe Dyantyi, restored to his usual spot on the wing after his cameo in the midfield last week, scored an early try for the visitors after Tom Wright was yellow carded for a tip-tackle on Malcolm Marx. The Brumbies speedily hit back with three tries of their own to take a 19-8 lead at the break.
Brumbies No 8 Lachlan McCaffrey burst over the line for their first try and he was followed by Toni Pulu and Tevita Kuridrani over the whitewash.
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies scored a converted try 10 minutes into the second half, but just as it looked like the Emirates Lions were playing themselves back into the match, Tom Banks and Wright scored as the hosts pulled away to stretch their lead to a comfortable 31-15 margin. Sylvian Mahuza scored a consolation try for the Highvelders.
Brumbies 31 (19) – Tries: Lachlan McCaffrey, Toni Pulu, Tevita Kuridrani, Tom Banks, Tom Wright. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (3).
Emirates Lions 20 (8) – Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Sylvian Mahuza. Conversion: Jantjies. Penalty goal: Jantjies.
Resilient DHL Stormers down Rebels in Melbourne
A strong finish by the DHL Stormers saw them clinch a 41-24 win over the Rebels in Melbourne in their round nine clash on Friday afternoon (SA time).
Two second half tries by former Blitzbok star Ruhan Nel helped the visitors pull clear of the Australian outfit, as the DHL Stormers ultimately outscored the Rebels by five tries to three. The result gave the Cape outfit a morale-boosting win in their fourth and last match of their Australasian tour, following three losses on consecutive weeks.
The triumph is especially sweet for the DHL Stormers as they went into the game without regulars such as the experienced Springbok forward trio of Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit, with Steven Kitshoff captaining the Capetonians in this match.
They were solid on defence and made full use of their scoring opportunities to score tries through Dillyn Leyds, Damian de Allende, Nel (2) and replacement forward Juarno Augustus. Jean-Luc du Plessis (flyhalf) added two conversions and a penalty goal, while replacement Josh Stander also hit the target with three conversions and a penalty goal.
The Cape side led by 10-3 at the break, courtesy of Leyds’ early converted try, and a penalty goal. They added four more tries in the second half, three of which came in the first 15 minutes after the break during which time the DHL Stormers heaped more pressure on the Rebels and moved into a commanding 21-point lead.
The win moved the DHL Stormers (18 points) from the basement to third in the South African Conference, while the Melbourne side remain top of the Australian table despite this defeat. Robbie Fleck’s side now travel home to face the Brumbies at DHL Newlands next weekend, while the Rebels travel to Sydney for their next match against the Waratahs.
Rebels 24 (3) – Tries: Reece Hodge, Will Genia, Campbell Magnay. Conversions: Quade Cooper (3). Penalty: Cooper.
DHL Stormers 41 (10) – Tries: Dillyn Leyds, Juarno Augustus, Damian de Allende, Ruhan Nel (2). Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (2), Joshua Stander (3). Penalties: Du Plessis, Stander.
Other Round 9 results of the weekend:
Friday, 12 April
Crusaders 43, Highlanders 17
Saturday, 13 April
Chiefs 33, Blues 29