The DHL Stormers produced a powerful performance to beat the Vodacom Bulls 29-17 in their big Vodacom Super Rugby derby at DHL Newlands on Saturday, while the Cell C Sharks played superbly in their 38-12 victory over the Highlanders in Durban.
The Emirates Lions succumbed 28-19 to the Hurricanes in Wellington after they lost influential hooker Malcolm Marx just eight minutes into the game with a groin injury. The Springbok hooker returns home on Monday and will miss his side’s last tour match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Meanwhile, the Jaguares secured a historic clean sweep of victories in Australia and New Zealand by beating the Chiefs 23-19 in Rotorua on Friday morning. During their tour they also registered away wins over the Rebels, Brumbies and the Blues.
The DHL Stormers, with skipper Siya Kolisi making his 100th appearance and Scarra Ntubeni earning his 50th cap off the bench, made a powerful start against their traditional rivals and took a 12-0 lead before their Pretoria opponents clawed their way back. The match was a typical, hard-fought and exciting South African rugby derby, with the Cape side especially dominant in the scrums.
Playing at home in Durban, the Cell C Sharks led 17-7 at the break and thumped the Highlanders with a commanding second-half display to gain a vital and well-deserved victory. They secured their bonus-point triumph by scoring five tries to two.
The Emirates Lions are still leading the South Africa Conference on 31 points from 11 matches, however, the Jaguares (24 points) have now narrowed the gap to just seven points thanks to their winning run in Australia and New Zealand.
As a result of their big victory over the Highlanders, the Cell C Sharks moved into third spot on 23 points, one more than the DHL Stormers, while the Vodacom Bulls have 20 points.
In next Saturday’s action, the Emirates Lions tackle the Highlanders at 09h23 in Dunedin (SA time), the DHL Stormers host the Chiefs in Cape Town from 15h05 while the Vodacom Bulls entertain the Cell C Sharks in Pretoria at 17h15.
Cell C Sharks 38, Highlanders 12
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Akker van der Merwe, Makazole Mapimpi, Daniel du Preez, Sbu Nkosi, Robert du Preez; Conversions: Robert du Preez (5); Penalty: Du Preez.
Highlanders – Tries: Dillon Hunt, Teihorangi Walden; Conversion: Lima Sopoaga.
DHL Stormers 29, Vodacom Bulls 17
DHL Stormers – Tries: Damian Willemse, Wilco Louw, SP Marais, Ramone Samuels; Conversions: Damian Willemse (3); Penalty: Marais
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Lood de Jager, Jason Jenkins; Conversions: Handre Pollard (2); Penalty: Pollard.
Hurricanes 28, Emirates Lions 19
Hurricanes – Tries: Ben Lam (3), Ardie Savea; Conversions: Beauden Barrett (4).
Emirates Lions – Tries: Nic Groom, Marnus Schoeman, Sylvian Mahuza; Conversion: Elton Jantjies (2).
Other Round 12 results:
Friday, 4 May
Chiefs 19, Jaguares 23;
Rebels 10, Crusaders 55;
Saturday, 5 May
Waratahs 21, Blues 24;
Byes: Brumbies, Reds, Sunwolves
The latest conference standings after the weekend’s Round 12 action:
SOUTH AFRICAN CONFERENCE
|3||Cell C Sharks||10||4||1||5||296||289||7||36||38||23|
NEW ZEALAND CONFERENCE