Springbok midfielder Jesse Kriel scored the winning try close to the end of the game to seal a dramatic 20-14 comeback win for the Vodacom Bulls over the Toyota Cheetahs in their tense local derby on Saturday evening in Pretoria.
Kriel’s try secured a crucial win for his team who have now managed to register consecutive wins for the first time this season, following their success over the Jaguares last weekend. The Bulls rallied to win this Vodacom Super Rugby round nine game after trailing for most of the match.
The Cell C Sharks could only managed a frustrating 9-9 draw with the Melbourne Rebels in the late fixture in Durban. Earlier in the day the DHL Stormers stumbled to a disappointing 57-24 loss to the unbeaten Crusaders in Christchurch.
Friday did however deliver two wins for the local franchise teams. Deon Davids’ brave Southern Kings side overturned their 17-7 halftime deficit to edge the Waratahs 26-24 in Sydney to finish their Australian visit on a winning note. The Kings played very well in the second half.
Springbok pivot Elton Jantjies kicked the winning penalty to complete the Emirates Lions’ 24-21 fightback against the Jaguares after both sides have scored three tries apiece in their tough Friday evening tussle on the Highveld.Following the latest round of action it is the Emirates Lions who are the leading local team with regards to league points. The Africa Conference 2 leaders have collected 32 points from their eight games played so far, eight more than the second placed Cell C Sharks.
The Stormers are leading the Africa Conference 1 standings on 26 points and they are followed by the Vodacom Bulls on 13.
Johan Ackermann’s team side now travels to Perth on Sunday without Springbok flank Jaco Kriel, who will stay behind as a result of the knee injury he suffered against the Jaguares. They face the Force, Rebels and Brumbies on their three match tour of Australia.
Meanwhile, Loftus Versfeld continues to be an unhappy hunting ground for the team from Bloemfontein, where the Free State outfit now has managed just one win in their last nine visits to Pretoria. Midfielder Kriel completed a slick counter attack to clinch the game, however, the hosts first had to pull off a desperate try saving tackle to stop Raymond Rhule from snatching the game.
Cell C Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch and Melbourne Rebels fullback Reece Hodge slotted three penalties each in Durban where both teams were reduced to 14 men. The hosts lost centre Andre Esterhuizen for a dangerous tackle in the 17th minute while Rebels skipper Nic Stirzaker was sent off towards the end for a second bookable offence.
Cell C Sharks 9, Rebels 9
Cell C Sharks 9 – Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3).
Rebels 9 – Penalties: Reece Hodge (3).
Vodacom Bulls 20, Toyota Cheetahs 14
Vodacom Bulls 20 – Tries: Jacques Potgieter, Jesse Kriel; Conversions: Tian Schoeman (2); Penalties: Schoeman (2).
Toyota Cheetahs 14 – Try: Paul Schoeman; Penalties: Niel Marais (3).
Crusaders 57, DHL Stormers 24
Crusaders 57 – Tries: George Bridge (3), Kieran Read (2), Michael Alaalatoa, Peter Samu; Conversions: Richie Mo”unga (7); Penalty: Richie Mo”unga.
DHL Stormers 24 – Tries: Cheslin Kolbe, Bjorn Basson, Frans Malherbe; Conversions: Robert du Preez (3); Penalty: Du Preez.
Emirates Lions 24, Jaguares 21
Emirates Lions 24 – Tries: Harold Vorster, Lionel Mapoe, Ruan Ackermann; Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3); Penalty: Jantjies.
Jaguares 21 – Tries: Matias Orlando, Rodrigo Baez, Guido Petti; Conversions: Nicolas Sanchez (3).
Waratahs 24, Southern Kings 26
Waratahs 24 – Tries: Taqele Naiyaravoro (2), Cam Clark, Rob Horne; Conversions: Bernard Foley (2).
Southern Kings 26 – Tries: Justin Forwood, Masixole Banda, Michael Willemse, Penalty Try; Conversions: Lionel Cronje (2).
Other Round 9 results
Friday, 21 April
Hurricanes 56, Brumbies 21
Saturday, 22 April
Highlanders 40, Sunwolves 15
Force 7, Chiefs 16
The updated logs after Round 9:
Africa Conference 1
Africa Conference 2
|2||Cell C Sharks||8||5||1||2||203||167||36||17||18||24|
New Zealand Conference