The Emirates Lions will face the Crusaders next week in Johannesburg, the DHL Stormers host the Chiefs in Cape Town and the Cell C Sharks have to travel to Wellington, New Zealand, for clash against the Hurricanes after the Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final draw was confirmed on Sunday morning.
The draw for the playoffs was finalised following completion of Round 17, the final round of regular fixtures, over the weekend.
In the last match of the round, which kicked off just before midnight SA time on Saturday, the Emirates Lions lost 34-22 to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, which placed them second overall on the combined standings.
Earlier on Saturday the DHL Stormers finished as Africa Conference 1 winners after beating the Southern Kings 52-24 and they enter the playoffs as third seeds. The Cell C Sharks won their Friday evening match 40-29 against the Sunwolves in Durban to clinch their wildcard qualification spot.The Vodacom Bulls won their last campaign fixture 43-17 against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, but the Pretoria side missed out on a place in the knockout phase.
The Hurricanes clinched the New Zealand Conference with their 35-10 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday to finish as overall log leaders and first seeds, while the Highlanders beat the Chiefs 25-15 in Dunedin.
The Australian Conference winner is the Brumbies who beat the Western Force 24-10 to qualify as fourth seeds. Next weekend the four conference winners will host the four wildcard teams in the much-anticipated quarter-finals.
The 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-finalists and seedings:
|Seed 1||Hurricanes||New Zealand Conference winner||53 points|
|Seed 2||Emirates Lions||South Africa 2 Conference winner||52 points|
|Seed 3||DHL Stormers||South Africa 1 Conference Winner||51 points|
|Seed 4||Brumbies||Australia Conference Winner||43 points|
|Seed 5||Highlanders||Wildcard – Australasia Group||52 points|
|Seed 6||Chiefs||Wildcard – Australasia Group||51 points|
|Seed 7||Crusaders||Wildcard – Australasia Group||50 points|
|Seed 8||Cell C Sharks||Wildcard – South Africa Group||43 points|
Vodacom 2016 Super Rugby quarter-final draw:
|Fri 22 July||Brumbies ||Highlanders ||GIO Stadium, Canberra||18h00|
|Sat 23 July||Hurricanes ||Cell C Sharks ||Westpac Stadium, Wellington||19h35|
|Sat 23 July||Emirates Lions ||Crusaders ||Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg||16h30|
|Sat 23 July||DHL Stormers ||Chiefs 6]||DHL Newlands, Cape Town||19h00|
* Local time
The semi-finals will be determined by the results of the quarter-finals. The highest seeded winner will play the lowest seeded winner; the second highest seeded winner will play the second lowest seeded winner. The two highest seeds will host semi-final matches.
The Emirates Lions gave a good account of themselves but in the end the home team proved too strong and they went down 34-22 to the Jaguares at Vélez Sarsfield.
The young visiting team led 15-12 at the break and 22-12 at one stage, but the power of the home side secured them victory thanks to tries from number eight Facundo Isa and lock Mattias Alemanno, as well as a penalty try.
Wing Anthony Volminck dotted down twice for the Emirates Lions, while fullback Sylvian Mahuza crossed over as well. Flyhalf Jaco van der Walt kicked over two conversions and a penalty.
The Johannesburg side rested their entire first-choice team for the trip to Argentina, and only a bonus-point win would have secured them first position on the combined log following the earlier results in New Zealand.
Jaguares – Tries: Facundo Isa, Penalty try, Matias Alemano. Conversions: Juan Martin Hernandez, Nicolas Sanchez. Penalties: Nicolas Sanchez (5).
Emirates Lions – Tries: Anthony Volminck (2), Sylvian Mahuza. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (2). Penalty: Van der Walt.
Two tries each from Travis Ismaiel and Renaldo Bothma, and a solo-effort by Jamba Ulengo secured the Pretoria side a comfortable win. Flyhalf Tian Schoeman added three conversions and he also succeeded with four penalties.
Clayton Blommetjies and Carl Wenger each scored a try for the home side, while the rest of the points came from the kicking efforts of Fred Zeilinga (a conversion and penalty) and George Whitehead (one conversion).
The two rivals were playing for pride as the Pretoria side knew they could not make the knockout stage following the Cell C Sharks’ win over the Sunwolves on Friday.
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Travis Ismaiel (2), Renaldo Bothma (2), Jamba Ulengo. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (3). Penalties: Tian Schoeman (4).
Toyota Cheetahs – Tries: Clayton Blommetjies, Carl Wenger. Penalty: Fred Zeilinga. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga, George Whitehead.
The DHL Stormers outscored the Southern Kings eight tries to three, with How Jones and Leolin Zas scoring seven tries between them. The win in Cape Town was of academic nature because the home team had already secured the Africa Conference 1 title before the weekend’s clash.
The Cape side lost wing Kobus van Wyk and flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis to injuries. Scottish international Jones had a storming game and he scored four tries with his pace and power. He was joined on the scoreboard by Junior Springbok Zas, who helped himself to a hat-trick.
The half-time score was 21-10 in favour of the hosts, who saw fly half Du Plessis went off with an injury just before the break. He was replaced by Brandon Thomson, who also scored a try plus he slotted three conversions. The PE visitors never gave up and were rewarded with three tries, scored by Malcolm Jaer, Wandile Mjekevu, Stefan Watermeyer.
DHL Stormers – Tries: Huw Jones (4), Leolin Zas (3), Brandon Thompson. Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (3), Brandon Thompson (3).
Southern Kings – Tries: Malcolm Jaer, Wandile Mjekevu, Stefan Watermeyer. Penalty: Dewald Human. Conversions: Dewald Human, Elgar Watts (2).
The Cell C Sharks won 40-29 after leading 21-19 at half-time in Durban, securing four points in the process to advance to the playoffs.
The home side scored six tries through prop Coenie Oosthuizen, wing Lwazi Mvovo, centres JP Pietersen and Andre Esterhuizen, flyhalf Garth April and replacement back Curwin Bosch. April slotted five conversions.
The Japanese side replied with tries by scrumhalf Kaito Shigeno, centre Mifiposeti Paea (2) and hooker Takeshi Kizu. Flyhalf Yu Tamura was on target with three conversions and also a penalty.
Springbok JP Pietersen captained the coastal team in his last appearance.
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Coenie Oosthuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Andre Esterhuizen, Garth April and Curwin Bosch; Conversions: Garth April 5.
Sunwolves – Tries: Kaito Shigeno, Mifiposeti Paea 2 and Faatiga Lemalu; Conversions: Yu Tamura 3; Penalty: Yu Tamura.
Other Round 17 results:
Friday, 15 July
Blues 34-28 Waratahs
Reds 28-31 Melbourne Rebels
Saturday, 16 July
Crusaders 10-35 Hurricanes
Highlanders 25-15 Chiefs
Brumbies 24-10 Western Force
The final Vodacom Super Rugby table after Round 17:
|TEAM||PLAYED||WON||LOST||DREW||POINTS FOR||POINTS AGAINST||POINTS DIFFERENCE||TRIES FOR||TRIES AGAINST||LOSS BONUS||TRIES BONUS||POINTS|
|South African Group|
|Emirates Lions (Q)||15||11||4||0||535||349||186||71||42||1||7||52|
|DHL Stormers (Q)||15||10||4||1||440||274||166||49||28||4||5||51|
|Cell C Sharks (Q)||15||9||5||1||360||269||91||40||30||3||2||43|
|Africa Conference 1|
|Africa Conference 2|
|Cell C Sharks||15||9||5||1||360||269||91||40||30||3||2||43|
|New Zealand Conference|