Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard was in commanding form on Saturday as he piloted the Vodacom Bulls to an impressive 30-12 derby win over the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg, while the DHL Stormers clinched a second straight Vodacom Super Rugby win thanks to their hard-fought 16-11 triumph over the Cell C Sharks 16-11 in Durban.
In some other round three action, the Sunwolves beat the Chiefs 30-15 in Hamilton for their maiden away win of the competition, the Crusaders notched up their 18th successive win thanks to a 22-12 success over the Reds in Brisbane, while the Jaguares won their home game 23-19 against the Blues.
Pollard steers Vodacom Bulls to victory over Emirates Lions in Joburg
The Vodacom Bulls gave a powerful performance to hand the Emirates Lions a second successive defeat with their 30-12 triumph on Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg.
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard pulled the strings as he delivered a commanding performance in the No 10 jersey, kicking six penalties and a conversion for a personal tally of 20 points. Duane Vermeulen (No 8) and Warrick Gelant (No 15) were the try scorers for the Pretoria outfit.
The visitors led 14-0 at the break thanks to a superior effort from the forwards, which enabled them to starve the home side from any meaningful possession and territory.
Although the Highvelders improved in the second stanza, it was however the Vodacom Bulls, and Pollard in particular, who kept the scoreboard ticking with some impressive goal-kicking.
Front rankers Carlu Sadie and Dylan Smith (replacement) dotted down for the red and white jerseys, captained for the first time by hooker Malcolm Marx in the injury absence of regular skipper Warren Whiteley.
In next weekend’s action, the Emirates Lions host the Jaguares for their second home match (15h05) while the Vodacom Bulls take on the Cell Sharks at Loftus Versfeld (17h15).
Emirates Lions (0) 12 – Tries: Carlu Sadie, Dylan Smith; Conversion: Elton Jantjies.
Vodacom Bulls (14) 30 – Tries: Duane Vermeulen, Warrick Gelant; Conversion: Handre Pollard; Penalties: Pollard (6)
Etzebeth, Du Toit colossal in tough DHL Stormers away win in Durban
Following a heavy loss to the Vodacom Bulls in the opening round and last week’s last-gasp win over the Emirates Lions in Cape Town, the DHL Stormers played much better on Saturday in Durban to defeat the Cell C Sharks 16-11 in a tightly contested local coastal derby.
The loss was the first of the campaign for the east coast side following a pair of good wins in the opening rounds. Both sides scored a try each, however, Robert du Preez’s outfit struggled to contain the visitors’ physical onslaught in the first half. Springboks Eben Etzebeth (lock) and Pieter-Steph du Toit were the standout figures in the dominant Cape pack of forwards.
Two yellow cards were also showed to the home side, adding to their struggle to wrestle control of the ball against a Springbok laden visiting pack.
Young Springbok utility back Damian Willemse scored an intercept try in the first half to help steer the opposing side to a 13-3 halftime lead. The hosts made a bright start to the second half when Springbok midfielder Lukhanyo Am dived over soon after the restart.
The rest of encounter was a typical bruising derby affair and Siya Kolisi’s team did well to fend off a strong surge from the home team towards the end of the game.
Next weekend the DHL Stormers will have a bye and the Cell C Sharks travel to Pretoria for their clash with the Vodacom Bulls in the capital.
Cell C Sharks (3) 11 – Try: Lukhanyo Am; Penalties: Robert du Preez (2).
DHL Stormers (13) 16 – Try: Damian Willemse; Conversion: SP Marais; Penalties: Marais (3).
Other Round 3 results of the weekend:
Friday, 1 March
Hurricanes 43, Brumbies 13
Rebels 24, Highlanders 19
Saturday, March 2
Chiefs 15, Sunwolves 30
Reds 12, Crusaders 22.
The Vodacom Super Rugby log after the weekend’s Round 3 action (SA, NZ, AUS conferences):
|1||Cell C Sharks||3||2||0||1||82||33||49||11||3||11|