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  • Southern Kings record first win of season in Port Elizabeth
  • Emirates Lions collect vital bonus point in Johannesburg thriller

The Vodacom Bulls did just enough to edge the Toyota Cheetahs 23-18 in a hard-fought local Vodacom Super Rugby derby clash on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The home team led 20-10 at halftime and outscored the visitors by three tries to two.

After several gusty performances in their previous matches, the Southern Kings scored their first win of the season when they outlasted the Sunwolves 33-28 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon. A strong scrum and 13 kicking points by flyhalf Louis Fouché tipped the scale in favour of the Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after both sides scored four tries each.

Industrious hooker Edgar Marutlulle had another storming performance for the Kings and he was deservedly presented with the Vodacom Player of the Match award afterwards.The Emirates Lions went down 43-37 to the Crusaders on Friday night in Johannesburg in a thrilling match where the visitors outscored the hosts by six tries to four. The home side did well to collect a vital bonus point after the Crusaders led by 20 points at one stage of the match.

However, despite their rest weekend, the DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks are still top of their respective Africa Conferences. The Cape side lead Conference 1 on 18 points from five matches and the Durban franchise have 16 points from the same number of games, the most points so far in Conference 2.

Their hard-fought win enabled the Bulls to take revenge for their defeat of last year against the Free State side. The Pretoria-side fielded promising Junior Springbok lock pairing RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins, but the men from Bloemfontein reigned supreme in the scrums.

Elsewhere the Highlanders defeated the Force 32-20 in Dunedin, the Blues won 24-16 over the Jaguares in Auckland and the Brumbies lost in Canberra 48-23 to a rampant Chiefs. The Rebels held on to beat the Waratahs 21-17 in the only Sunday morning fixture (SA time) in Sydney. So, after Round 6, the Chiefs (24 points) are leading the New Zealand Conference by a comfortable margin and in Australia the Rebels have moved level with the Brumbies on 17 points on top of their standings.

 

Vodacom Blue Bulls 23 (20) Toyota Cheetahs (10) 18

The Vodacom Bulls did enough to hold off the Toyota Cheetahs in their derby on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld. The home team, who played in all pink as part of a Cancer fundraising drive, scored three tries in the first half to lead 20-10 at halftime.

But the Bloemfontein side defended superbly as they were forced to make almost three times the amount of tackles as the home team, however, they dominated the scrum contests. As expected, it was the hosts who started stronger and after kickers Niel Marais and Tian Schoeman traded early penalties, the Vodacom Bulls were on top following the yellow card of Paul Schoeman.

The Pretoria-side duly took advantage and following several hard forward drives it was lock RG Snyman who stretched over the line for the first try of the match. His fellow Junior Springbok lock Jason Jenkins soon followed him over the whitewash in similar fashion to stretch their lead to 15-3.

But the Free Staters hit back with their first try when speedster Sergeal Peters beat Rudy Paige to score in the corner. Jamba Ulengo finished and started a move to dot down the home team’s third try before the break. A successful Marais penalty and powerful rolling maul try by Torsten van Jaarsveld brought the visitors right back into the game after the restart. The Toyota Cheetahs finished the game stronger, but the Vodacom Bulls did just enough to secure the win.

Scorers:

Vodacom Bulls (20) 23 – Tries: RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Jamba Ulengo. Conversion: Tian Schoeman. Penalties: Schoeman (2)

Toyota Cheetahs (10) 18 – Tries: Sergeal Petersen, Torsten van Jaarsveld. Conversion: Niel Marais. Penalties: Niel Marais (2).

Southern Kings (23) 33 Sunwolves (20) 28

The Southern Kings recorded their first win of the campaign with a close fought 33-28 victory over the Sunwolves. The PE-based franchise led 23-20 at halftime in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The opening stanza was a frantic affair and the Kings were in front by three points at halftime as both sides managed to score three tries. Captain Steven Sykes, Malcolm Jaer (debut try) and Shane Gates dotted down for the home side, while Shota Horie, Tusi Pisi and Tim Bond were the Sunwolves’ scorers.

 

Kicking kingpins Louis Fouché and Pisi added penalties in the second half, and it wasn’t until two minutes from the final whistle that more tries followed, when replacement Elgar Watts and Akihito Yamada scored. In the end the Kings did enough to secure a well-deserved first win of the season.

 

Scorers:

 

Southern Kings (23) 33 – Tries: Steven Sykes, Malcolm Jaer, Shane Gates, Elgar Watts; Conversions: Louis Fouché (2); Penalties: Fouché (3).

 

Sunwolves (20) 28 – Tries: Shota Horie, Tusi Pisi, Tim Bond, Akihito Yamada; Conversion: Pisi, Penalties: Pisi (2).

 

Emirates Lions (20) 37, Crusaders (22) 43

The Crusaders finished their South African tour on a winning note when they defeated the high-riding Emirates Lions 43-37 in an entertaining match in Johannesburg on Friday night. Both sides contributed to a thrilling match at the Emirates Airline Park and the visitors outscored the home team by six tries to four.

Ryan Crotty bagged a hat-trick of tries for the Crusaders, who gained control of the match in the second half. However, the Lions were full of fighting spirit and replacement hooker Akker van der Merwe scored twice in the closing minutes to set up a close finish against the Crusaders, who at one stage led by 20 points.

The match was an exciting affair, starting with the opening try of Crotty who scored in the opening minute following a break by Nemani Nadolo. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies slotted a penalty in the final minutes to bring the Lions to within touching distance again and to earn a bonus point.

Scorers

Emirates Lions (20) 37 – Tries: Akker van der Merwe (2), Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4). Penalties: Jantjies (3).

Crusaders (22) 43 – Tries: Ryan Crotty (3), Wyatt Crockett, Johnny McNicholl, Mitchell Drummond. Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (5). Penalty: Mo’unga.

Other Results – Round 6:

 

Highlanders 32, Force 20 – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Blues 24, Jaguares 16 – QBE Stadium, Auckland

Brumbies 23, Chiefs 48 – GIO Stadium, Canberra

Waratahs 17, Rebels 21 – Allianz Stadium, Sydney

 

Vodacom Super Rugby logs after Round 6:

 

TEAM PLAYED WON LOST DREW POINTS FOR POINTS AGAINST POINTS DIFFERENCE TRIES FOR TRIES AGAINST LOSS BONUS TRIES BONUS POINTS
South African Group
DHL Stormers (Q) 5 4 1 0 110 56 54 10 5 1 1 18
Cell C Sharks (Q) 5 3 1 1 110 71 39 12 8 1 1 16
Emirates Lions (Q) 5 3 2 0 153 144 9 19 18 1 1 14
Vodacom Bulls 5 3 1 1 123 119 4 13 13 0 0 14
Toyota Cheetahs 6 1 5 0 133 172 -39 16 21 3 0 7
Jaguares 5 1 4 0 99 119 -20 11 12 3 0 7
Southern Kings 5 1 4 0 109 228 -119 12 30 0 0 4
Sunwolves 5 0 5 0 108 156 -48 12 19 3 0 3
Africa Conference 1
DHL Stormers 5 4 1 0 110 56 54 10 5 1 1 18
Vodacom Bulls 5 3 1 1 123 119 4 13 13 0 0 14
Toyota Cheetahs 6 1 5 0 133 172 -39 16 21 3 0 7
Sunwolves 5 0 5 0 108 156 -48 12 19 3 0 3
Africa Conference 2
Cell C Sharks 5 3 1 1 110 71 39 12 8 1 1 16
Emirates Lions 5 3 2 0 153 144 9 19 18 1 1 14
Jaguares 5 1 4 0 99 119 -20 11 12 3 0 7
Southern Kings 5 1 4 0 109 228 -119 12 30 0 0 4
Australasian Group
Chiefs (Q) 6 5 1 0 248 140 108 34 14 1 3 24
Brumbies (Q) 6 4 2 0 174 136 38 21 16 0 1 17
Highlanders (Q) 6 5 1 0 171 113 58 20 12 1 1 22
Crusaders (Q) 5 4 1 0 168 115 53 22 14 1 1 18
Rebels (Q) 6 4 2 0 134 140 -6 14 14 0 1 17
Hurricanes 5 3 2 0 132 114 18 16 12 1 2 15
Blues 5 2 2 1 114 123 -9 11 14 1 0 11
Waratahs 5 2 3 0 103 106 -3 14 12 2 1 11
Force 6 1 5 0 91 188 -97 7 26 1 0 5
Reds 5 0 4 1 77 117 -40 7 11 2 0 4
New Zealand Conference
Chiefs 6 5 1 0 248 140 108 34 14 1 3 24
Highlanders 6 5 1 0 171 113 58 20 12 1 1 22
Crusaders 5 4 1 0 168 115 53 22 14 1 1 18
Hurricanes 5 3 2 0 132 114 18 16 12 1 2 15
Blues 5 2 2 1 114 123 -9 11 14 1 0 11
Australian Conference
Brumbies 6 4 2 0 174 136 38 21 16 0 1 17
Rebels 6 4 2 0 134 140 -6 14 14 0 1 17
Waratahs 5 2 3 0 103 106 -3 14 12 2 1 11
Force 6 1 5 0 91 188 -97 7 26 1 0 5
Reds 5 0 4 1 77 117 -40 7 11 2 0 4

 

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