The Southern Kings edged the Cell C Sharks 35-32 in their thrilling coastal derby played in front of an ecstatic crowd at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening to make it three Vodacom Super Rugby wins in a row for the first time.
Alshaun Bock was a late replacement for injured wing Wandile Mjekevu and the competition’s oldest rookie scored two tries as the Kings clinched a memorable win for their first triumph over a South African team. His Man of the Match performance guided the Eastern Cape side to their fourth win of this year’s campaign.
The Durban visitors suffered an early setback when they lost their playmaker and skipper, Pat Lambie, who left the field in the first half after an accidental head blow.
A thunderstorm and the persistent rain made for difficult handling conditions at Loftus Versfeld, where the Vodacom Bulls hosted the Highlanders in the early Saturday afternoon fixture. The Highlanders pipped the Pretoria side 17-10 in this heavy tussle courtesy of Malakai Fekitoa’s winning try four minutes from the end.
The Emirates Lions scored the only try of the match and had to show plenty of determination on defence for their 13-6 success over the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday to ensure they completed their three-match tour of Australia unbeaten.
The Highveld side stacked up their fifth away win in a row and they also stretched their lead in the Africa Conference 2 standings to 46 points, while the Durban outfit is second on 33 and the Jaguares third (24). The DHL Stormers, who had a bye this weekend, is the leading Africa Conference 1 side on 26 points.The Toyota Cheetahs, meanwhile, started their tour of New Zealand with a 50-32 defeat to the Blues in Auckland on Friday. The Free State side played their part in this entertaining match, however, they will be looking to improve their defence in their remaining two away matches.
In the last fixture of the weekend staged on Saturday night (SA time) in Buenos Aires, the Western Force scored a gutsy 16-6 win over the Jaguares.
Southern Kings 35, Cell C Sharks 32
Southern Kings 35 – Tries: Alshaun Bock (2), Lionel Cronjé, Pieter-Steyn de Wet; Conversions: Cronjé (3); Penalties: Cronjé (2); Drop goal: Cronjé.
Cell C Sharks 32 – Tries: Daniel du Preez, Lwazi Mvovo; Conversions: Pat Lambie, Garth April. Penalties: Lambie (2), April (4).
Vodacom Bulls 10, Highlanders 17
Vodacom Bulls 10 – Try: Warrick Gelant; Conversion: Tian Schoeman; Penalty: Tian Schoeman.
Highlanders 17 – Tries: Matt Faddes, Malakai Fekitoa; Conversions: Marty Banks (2); Penalty: Fletcher Smith.
Brumbies 6, Emirates Lions 13
Brumbies 6 – Penalties: Wharenui Hawera (2).
Emirates Lions 13 -Try: Kwagga Smith; Conversion: Elton Jantjies; Penalties: Jantjies, Andries Coetzee.
Blues 50, Toyota Cheetahs 32
Blues 50 – Tries: Rieko Ioane 2, Scott Crafton, Akiru Ioane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu, Melani Nanai; Conversions: Piers Francis (2), Ihaia West (3).
Toyota Cheetahs 32 – Tries: Francois Venter, Torsten van Jaarsveld and Elandre Hugget (2); Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3); Penalties: Zeilinga (2).
Other Round 12 results
Saturday, 13 May
Crusaders 20, Hurricanes 12
Rebels 24, Reds 29
Jaguares 6, Force 16
The updated logs after Round 12:
Africa Conference 1
Africa Conference 2
|2||Cell C Sharks||11||7||1||3||305||239||66||26||27||33|
New Zealand Conference