Close encounters define Vodacom SupeRugby weekend

Mar 2 • General News, Super Rugby • 1384 Views • Comments Off on Close encounters define Vodacom SupeRugby weekend

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2 MARCH 2015 – It was a weekend of close encounters of the Vodacom SupeRugby kind as the Vodacom Bulls claimed their first victory of the season while the DHL Stormers continued to dominate the South African Conference.
The two local derbies produced nail-biting rugby as the Vodacom Bulls had to keep a spirited Cell C Sharks side at bay in Pretoria, while the Stormers also hung on for a narrow victory over the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg.
In Bloemfontein, the Cheetahs continued with their positive start of the season with a win over the Blues following their bye.
After two indifferent opening weekends, the Bulls finally seemed to hit their straps as portrayed by the statistics on the Vodacom Rugby App.
In the individual stats it was a clear tussle between the country’s two top flyhalves with the Sharks’ Patrick Lambie and Bulls pivot Handre Pollard featuring high in the rankings.
The sharp-shooting Lambie was invaluable to his side as he contributed 22 points with the boot to top the Points category, with Pollard behind him in second place with 18.
The Bulls and the Sharks topped the Kicks-from-Hand bracket with Pollard sharing the top ranking with the Hurricanes’ Beauden Barrett, sharing the top spot with 14 kicks apiece.
Lambie launched 13 aerial balls, while Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies was equal on 12 kicks with the Force’s Zack Holmes.
Pollard has shown that he was equally adept at attacking the line as he topped the Defenders Beaten category, sharing the leading count with Jerome Kaino of the Blues as they managed to get the best of the opposition on six occasions.
The Bulls were the leading South African team in terms of Defenders Beaten on 26 as the Blues led with 30 with the Hurricanes behind them with 27.
The Cheetahs’ fleet-footed fullback Willie le Roux claimed the top rank for the most Try Assists with three, while Bulls scrumhalf Rudy Paige also made a major impact for his side in this category with the two he shared with the Chiefs’ Sonny Bill Williams.
South African teams have a serious knack for contesting on the opposition ball in the lineouts.
The Bulls are the leading team with Lineouts Stolen, taking three of the Sharks’ balls, with the coastal taking two along with the Lions.
Settling in with his new, Bulls flanker Lappies Labuschagne is growing in statue and put in a mammoth defensive effort in his side’s victory on Saturday.
Labuschagne’s 15 tackles was the third highest count with the Brumbies’ Jarrad Butler leading with 19, while the Chiefs’ Matt Symons and Sam Cane each made 16.
The former Cheetahs player is developing a successful combination with team-mate Deon Stegmann, who made one tackle less than Labuschagne.

Round-3 Stats:

Points:
1. Patrick Lambie (Sharks) – 22
2. Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 18
3. Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) – 15
4. Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers) – 15
5. Mike Harris (Rebels) – 15

Try Assists:
1. Willie le Roux (Cheetahs) – 3
2. Rudy Paige (Bulls) – 2
3. Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs) – 2
4. Brad Shields (Hurricanes) – 1
5. Bryce Heem (Chiefs) – 1

Penalty Goals:
1. Patrick Lambie (Sharks) – 6
2. Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers) – 5
3. Mike Harris (Rebels) – 5
4. Elton Jantjies (Lions) – 4
5. Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 4

Kicks from Hand:
1. Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) – 14
2. Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 14
3. Pat Lambie (Sharks) – 13
4. Elton Jantjies (Lions) – 12
5. Zack Holmes (Force) – 12

Defenders Beaten:
1. Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 6
2. Jerome Kaino (Blues) – 6
3. Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) – 5
4. Charles Piutau (Blues) – 5
5. Cory Jane (Hurricanes) – 5

Tackles:
1. Jarrad Butler (Brumbies) – 19
2. Matt Symons (Chiefs) – 16
3. Sam Cane (Chiefs) – 16
4. Brad Shields (Hurricanes) – 15
5. Lappies Labuschagne (Bulls) – 15
6. Deon Stegmann (Bulls) – 14

Team-vs-Team Stats:

Carries:
1. Rebels – 128
2. Blues – 127
3. Bulls – 116
4. Force – 114
5. Chiefs – 109

Lineouts Stolen:
1. Bulls – 3
2. Highlanders – 2
3. Lions – 2
4. Sharks – 2
5. Blues – 1

Kicks from Hand:
1. Sharks – 31
2. Bulls – 29
3. Hurricanes – 29
4. Lions – 28
5. Highlanders – 27

Defenders Beaten:
1. Blues – 30
2. Hurricanes – 27
3. Bulls – 26
4. Rebels – 21
5. Reds – 20

Turnovers Won:
1. Highlanders – 11
2. Chiefs – 9
3. Lions – 9
4. Hurricanes – 8
5. Brumbies – 7

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