The Cell C Sharks scored an impressive bonus-point victory in Bloemfontein as the three other South African Vodacom Super Rugby sides in action in Round Five faltered.
The Emirates Lions could not emulate their win from last weekend as they came up against a Crusaders side hitting their straps in Christchurch on Saturday morning, with the Cantabrians running out comfortable winners (34-6).
On a sunny Cape Town afternoon, the DHL Stormers’ impressive four-match winning run came to a sudden end as they were beaten by 28-19 by the Chiefs, who outscored their hosts by three tries to one. The home team dropped from first to third on the standings, but they remain in first place on the SA Conference log.
But in the final match of the weekend, the Cell C Sharks ended a mini-slump with a good 27-10 victory over the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, which saw the team from Durban move into the top six on the log.
It was the Durbanites’ first try-scoring bonus-point away from home in a local derby in almost three years.
The Vodacom Bulls had a bye while there were yet again more away victories (four) than home wins (three).
Crusaders 34 (13) Emirates Lions 6 (3)
The Crusaders were back to their best as they beat the Emirates Lions by 34-6 in Christchurch on Saturday morning.
The seven-time champions laid the foundation up-front, where their play in the set-pieces was simply too good for the visitors.
But although the scoreline suggests an easy win for the Crusaders, the Emirates Lions deserve a lot of credit for always putting up a fight. With 30 minutes to go the score was 13-6 but the visitors again struggled to convert opportunities into points.
The Emirates Lions also seemed to rely too much on their attacking approach, while the Crusaders were tactically superior.
With Julian Redelinghuys in the sin-bin for repeated infringements at the scrum, the Crusaders scored 14 unanswered points, which effectively put an end to the team from Johannesburg’s charge.
Crusaders: Tries: Andy Ellis, Kieran Read, Kieron Fonotia, Penalty try. Conversions: Dan Carter (4). Penalty goals: Carter (2).
Emirates Lions: Penalty goals: Elton Jantjies (2).
DHL Stormers 19 (16) Chiefs 28 (13)
A superb second half performance by the Chiefs meant the DHL Stormers’ four-match winning streak came to an end at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors from Waikato won 28-19, outscoring their hosts by three tries to one for their first victory in Cape Town since 2009.
The DHL Stormers had a much stronger start than the Chiefs, with the home team’s scrum exerting massive pressure on their visitors for a second successive week.
Kobus van Wyk crossed for a superb try in the 19th minute and soon thereafter the Capetonians were in control at 13-3, but from there on in things seemed to unravel for the home team as the Chiefs found their rhythm.
The two-time champions from Hamilton scored two tries after the break and used the width of the field well as they cruised to their seventh win out of 11 matches in South Africa since 2010.
DHL Stormers: Try: Kobus van Wyk. Conversion: Kurt Coleman. Penalty goals: Coleman (3), Catrakilis.
Chiefs: Tries: Aaron Cruden, James Lowe, Sam Cane. Conversions: Cruden (2). Penalty goals: Cruden (3).
Toyota Cheetahs 10 (3) Cell C Sharks 27 (22)
Springbok flanker Marcell Coetzee scored two tries from line-out drives to help the Cell C Sharks to a good win by 27-10 over the Toyota Cheetahs at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
Coetzee was joined on the list of try-scorers by Frans Steyn and Jack Wilson as the Cell C Sharks recorded their second bonus-point victory of the season. It was the Cell C Sharks’ first try-scoring bonus-point away from home in a derby match since beating the Toyota Cheetahs by 34-20 on May 19, 2012.
The KwaZulu-Natalians were especially impressive in the first half and carded three of their four tries during this time. They were made to work hard for their fourth try, by Wilson, who could only cross with less than 10 minutes left in the match.
Francois Venter scored a late try for the Toyota Cheetahs, whose next four games are tough encounters Down Under, following two consecutive home defeats.
Toyota Cheetahs: Try: Francois Venter. Conversions: Francois Brummer. Penalty goal: Willie du Plessis.
Cell C Sharks: Tries: Frans Steyn, Marcell Coetzee (2), Jack Wilson. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2). Penalty goal: Lambie.
Other results – Round Five:
Hurricanes 30 Blues 23
Force 17 Rebels 21
Highlanders 26 Waratahs 19
Reds 0 Brumbies 29