Cell C Sharks, Toyota Cheetahs finish with a flourish – Vodacom Super Rugby Round 18 Review

Jun 14 • General News, Super Rugby • 1769 Views • Comments Off on Cell C Sharks, Toyota Cheetahs finish with a flourish – Vodacom Super Rugby Round 18 Review

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Photo: Marcell van Aswegen

It was a weekend of high drama in the final round of Vodacom Super Rugby, with a number of upsets and quite a few emotional good-byes as the regular season came to an end.

 

On Saturday afternoon, the Toyota Cheetahs gave their new coach, Franco Smith, something to smile about at the end of a tough season when they won for the first time ever in Pretoria as they beat the Vodacom Bulls by 42-29.

 

Shortly after the match, the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd and the Blue Bulls Company Board of Directors confirmed that Frans Ludeke had stepped down from his position as Vodacom Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup head coach with immediate effect.

 

The DHL Stormers were crowned champions of the South African Conference despite going down by 34-10 to the Cell C Sharks in Durban, as the KwaZulu-Natalians bid farewell to a number of Springbok stalwarts.

 

The Capetonians will host the Brumbies at DHL Newlands in the second Qualifier next Saturday afternoon, at 17h05. The first Qualifier is an all-New Zealand affair between the Highlanders and the Chiefs in Dunedin (09h35 SA time), also on Saturday.

 

Tickets for the DHL Stormers’ match against the Brumbies match go on sale from Monday, June 15 at 12h00. Prices range from R80 to R350 and DHL Newlands season tickets are valid for this match. For more information or to book tickets, visit wprugby.computicket.com.

 

DHL Newlands Box Office ticket sales open on Tuesday, June 16. Tickets can also be bought at Computicket outlets and Shoprite/Checkers stores nationwide.

 

The Hurricanes and Waratahs finished in the top two positions on the log and will enjoy a bye next weekend before hosting semi-finals the week thereafter.

Vodacom Bulls 29 (10) Toyota Cheetahs 42 (28)

 

The Vodacom Super Rugby season came to an enjoyable end for the Toyota Cheetahs when they won for the first time ever in Pretoria, beating the Vodacom Bulls by an emphatic 42-29 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

 

The visitors outscored the home team by six tries to four, with four of the Toyota Cheetahs’ tries coming during an inspired first half where they defended physically, forced turn-overs and used all their opportunities.

 

It was one of the Toyota Cheetahs’ best performances of the season, with Niell Jordaan, Henco Venter, Clayton Blommetjies and Sarel Pretorius dotting down before the break.

 

On the contrary, the Vodacom Bulls missed way too many simple tackles, failed to produce points when they had the chance and made way too many mistakes in general play. Jesse Kriel’s try in the fourth minute was probably the only highlight for the home team in the first half.

 

The visitors stretched their lead to an almost unassailable 35-10 early in the second half when Steven Sykes went over.

 

Although the Vodacom Bulls scored three tries in the second half, with Francois Hougaard dotting down twice and Pierre Spies rounding off in his final match for the Pretorians, the Toyota Cheetahs hung on and got two more tries – by Sykes and Ryno Benjamin – to seal a well-deserved win.

 

It was a sad farewell for Spies, Flip van der Merwe, Jacques du Plessis and Jacques-Louis Potgieter, all of whom will move on from the Vodacom Bulls, but Pretorius and Willie le Roux got a fitting farewell from the Toyota Cheetahs as they prepare to further their careers elsewhere.

 

Scorers

 

Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Francois Hougaard (2), Pierre Spies, Jesse Kriel. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Tian Schoeman (2). Penalty goal: Potgieter.

 

Toyota Cheetahs – Tries: Niell Jordaan, Henco Venter, Clayton Blommetjies, Sarel Pretorius, Steven Sykes, Ryno Benjamin. Conversions: Niel Marais (6).

 

Cell C Sharks 34 (13) DHL Stormers 12 (9)

 

The Cell C Sharks finished their Vodacom Super Rugby season on a high with a 34-12 victory over the DHL Stormers at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday evening, outscoring the visitors by five tries to none in the process.

 

It was a fitting farewell to three stalwarts of Sharks rugby, Willem Alberts, Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, who scored one of the home team’s five tries.

 

After a slow start, where their defence was a strong point in the first half hour, the KwaZulu-Natalians slowly increasing the pressure on the Capetonians, who knew their Qualifier fate before kick-off and travelled to Durban with a big number of fringe players in the starting line-up.

 

With DHL Stormers flyhalf Kurt Coleman keeping the score board ticking over for his team, his Cell C Sharks counterpart Lionel Cronje scored the first try of the match in the 18th minute, before his half-back partner Stefan Ungerer ensured the home team went into the break in the lead with a 13-9 lead with his team’s second try.

 

But the Cell C Sharks really stepped up a gear in the second half, with Bismarck du Plessis, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane crossing the white-wash to ensure they finish the season with 40 minutes of good rugby.

 

Scorers:

 

Cell C Sharks – Tries: Lionel Cronje, Stefan Ungerer, Bismarck du Plessis, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane. Conversions: Cronje (2), Fred Zeilinga. Penalty goal: Cronje.

 

DHL Stormers – Penalty goals: Kurt Coleman (4).

 

Other results – Round 18:

 

Blues 7 Highlanders 44

Rebels 11 Force 13

Brumbies 24 Crusaders 37

Chiefs 13 Hurricanes 21

Waratahs 31 Reds 5

 

Final Logs:

 

Combined Log

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

BPts

Pts

1

Hurricanes (NZ winner)

16

14

0

2

458

288

170

10

66

2

Waratahs (Aus winner)

16

11

0

5

409

313

96

8

52

3

DHL Stormers (SA winner)

16

10

1

5

373

323

50

3

45

4

Highlanders (wild card)

16

11

0

5

450

333

117

9

53

5

Chiefs (wild card)

16

10

0

6

372

299

73

8

48

6

Brumbies (wild card)

16

9

0

7

369

261

108

11

47

7

Crusaders

16

9

0

7

481

338

143

10

46

8

Emirates Lions

16

9

1

6

342

364

-22

4

42

9

Vodacom Bulls

16

7

0

9

397

388

9

10

38

10

Rebels

16

7

0

9

319

354

-35

8

36

11

Cell C Sharks

16

7

0

9

338

401

-63

6

34

12

Toyota Cheetahs

16

5

0

11

357

531

-174

6

26

13

Reds

16

4

0

12

247

434

-187

6

22

14

Blues

16

3

0

13

282

428

-146

8

20

15

Force

16

3

0

13

245

384

-139

7

19

 

South African Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

BPts

Pts

1

DHL Stormers

16

10

1

5

373

323

50

3

45

2

Emirates Lions

16

9

1

6

342

364

-22

4

42

3

Vodacom Bulls

16

7

0

9

397

388

9

10

38

4

Cell C Sharks

16

7

0

9

338

401

-63

6

34

5

Toyota Cheetahs

16

5

0

11

357

531

-174

6

26

 

Australian Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

BPts

Pts

1

Waratahs

16

11

0

5

409

313

96

8

52

2

Brumbies

16

9

0

7

369

261

108

11

47

3

Rebels

16

7

0

9

319

354

-35

8

36

4

Reds

16

4

0

12

247

434

-187

6

22

5

Force

16

3

0

13

245

384

-139

7

19

 

New Zealand Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

BPts

Pts

1

Hurricanes

16

14

0

2

458

288

170

10

66

2

Highlanders

16

11

0

5

450

333

117

9

53

3

Chiefs

16

10

0

6

372

299

73

8

48

4

Crusaders

16

9

0

7

481

338

143

10

46

5

Blues

16

3

0

13

282

428

-146

8

20

 

Top scorers – after Round 18:

 

Player Team

Tries

Conv

Pen

Drops

Tot

Bernard Foley Waratahs

5

33

28

0

175

Handre Pollard Vodacom Bulls

2

17

40

1

167

Lima Sopoaga Highlanders

2

34

24

3

159

Demetri Catrakilis DHL Stormers

0

18

39

1

156

Christian Lealiifano Brumbies

4

30

25

0

155

Elton Jantjies Emirates Lions

0

25

34

0

152

Daniel Carter Crusaders

3

23

22

0

127

Mike Harris Rebels

1

20

26

0

123

Beauden Barrett Hurricanes

3

16

21

0

110

Ihaia West Blues

1

15

23

0

104

Colin Slade Crusaders

3

20

15

0

100

Patrick Lambie Cell C Sharks

2

10

21

0

93

Aaron Cruden Chiefs

1

14

20

0

93

Joe Pietersen Toyota Cheetahs

0

19

16

2

92

James Marshall Hurricanes

3

15

5

0

60

Kurt Coleman DHL Stormers

0

9

12

1

57

TJ Perenara Hurricanes

10

0

0

0

50

Luke Burton Force

0

10

9

0

47

Waisake Naholo Highlanders

9

0

0

0

45

Nemani Nadolo Crusaders

9

0

0

0

45

Quade Cooper Reds

3

6

5

0

42

Jacques-Louis Potgieter Vodacom Bulls

0

6

10

0

42

Dan Bowden Blues

1

6

8

0

41

Damian McKenzie Chiefs

0

7

9

0

41

Taqele Naiyaravoro Waratahs

8

0

0

0

40

David Pocock Brumbies

8

0

0

0

40

Boom Prinsloo Toyota Cheetahs

8

0

0

0

40

Lachlan Turner Reds

6

2

2

0

40

Francois Steyn Cell C Sharks

2

5

6

0

38

Jack Debreczeni Rebels

2

4

6

0

36

James O’Connor Reds

0

12

4

0

36

Francois Venter Toyota Cheetahs

7

0

0

0

35

Matt Todd Crusaders

7

0

0

0

35

Francois Hougaard Vodacom Bulls

7

0

0

0

35

Julian Savea Hurricanes

7

0

0

0

35

Patrick Osborne Highlanders

7

0

0

0

35

 

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