The DHL Stormers set a new record for fewest tries conceded on tour by a South African Vodacom Super Rugby team when they beat the Force in Perth on Saturday morning.
The Capetonians will return home with three wins on tour for the third time after they kept the Force try-less in their 17-3 victory. They only stood behind their own posts twice in 320 minutes of rugby – less than half of the previous record.
The Toyota Cheetahs let slip a massive lead to lose their seventh straight game against the Highlanders in Bloem by 36-33 – a team the Central South African franchise have never beaten.
In Johannesburg, the Brumbies were too good for the MTN Lions as they strengthened their position at the top of the Australian Conference with a 34-20 victory.
The Vodacom Bulls and The Sharks had byes this past weekend.
MTN Lions 20 (6) Brumbies 34 (17)
The MTN Lions lost their seventh match of the Vodacom Super Rugby season when they got beaten by the Brumbies by 34-20 at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Friday evening.
The Brumbies scored six tries to two and if it wasn’t for some very wayward kicking by the visitors, the score would’ve been much bigger. Between Christian Lealiifano and Jesse Mogg they missed six out of eight kicks at goal, worth 14 points.
The MTN Lions had very few answers for the Brumbies’ attacking play as the men from Joburg missed way too many tackles. It was the team from Canberra’s first win at Coca-Cola Park since 2007.
Winger Henry Speight got two tries, while props Ruaidhri Murphy and Ben Alexander, as well as Andrew Smith and Joseph Tomane crossed for the visitors.
The MTN Lions’ tries were both scored in the final 20 minutes of the match when Jaco Taute and Caylib Oosthuizen went over.
MTN Lions flyhalf Butch James was suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks because of a dangerous charge into a ruck. He will be out of action up to and including Saturday 26 May 2012 (that includes four scheduled Vodacom Super Rugby matches).
MTN Lions – Tries: Jaco Taute, Caylib Oosthuizen. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Jantjies (2).
Brumbies – Tries: Ruaidhri Murphy, Henry Speight (2), Andrew Smith, Joseph Tomane, Ben Alexander. Conversions: Jesse Mogg, Christian Lealiifano.
Force 3 (3) DHL Stormers 17 (7)
The DHL Stormers recorded their third win on tour and remained at the top of the South African Conference in Vodacom Super Rugby when they beat the Force by 17-3 in very wet conditions in Perth on Saturday morning.
This victory meant the DHL Stormers will return to South Africa with three tour victories for the third time. They also achieved this feat on tour in 2008 and 2011 (and not in 2009 as mistakenly noted in the weekend preview on Thursday).
But what is perhaps more impressive, is that Allister Coetzee’s team conceded only two tries in their four tour matches – one each against the Crusaders and the Reds. They scored eight in total.
The two tries the Capetonians conceded, is the lowest ever by a South African team on tour to Australasia. The previous record for fewest tries conceded on tour was shared by the DHL Stormers in 2011 and the Vodacom Bulls in 2010.
The DHL Stormers played very well tactically and used the bad conditions in their favour. Bryan Habana scored an early intercept try and while television replays showed he probably dropped the ball over the line, the try was awarded.
Peter Grant got his second try in as many games and contributed 12 of the DHL Stormers’ points, adding two conversions and a penalty goal to his second-half five-pointer.
Force – Penalty goal: David Harvey.
DHL Stormers – Tries: Bryan Habana, Peter Grant. Conversions: Grant (2). Penalty goal: Grant.
Toyota Cheetahs 33 (23) Highlanders 36 (9)
It wasn’t pretty at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein as the Highlanders fought back from 21 points down in the last 25 minutes to beat the Toyota Cheetahs by 36-33 on Saturday afternoon.
Truth be told, the Toyota Cheetahs should’ve put this game away with less than half an hour left on the clock, but it seemed that they ran out of steam towards the end as the visitors from Otago ran in three unanswered tries to clinch an unlikely victory.
The Toyota Cheetahs, as a franchise, have now lost all seven their encounters against the Highlanders, but they had a great opportunity to turn this stat around.
The home team lead 23-9 at the break, with tighties Coenie Oosthuizen and Andries Ferreira crashing over, and they extended that to 30-9 shortly after when Johan Goosen pounced on a loose ball and sprinted 60 metres to score.
Goosen injured himself in the process, but his replacement, Sias Ebersohn, stepped up and converted from the tryline. Ebersohn missed a sitter late in the match, but it wasn’t his fault that the Free Staters lost this one.
After Goosen’s try, Chris Noakes and Jimmy Cowan, who got a brace, scored tries for the visitors. Noakes added two penalty goals, the match winner coming in the 79th minute.
Goosen picked up what looked like a serious shoulder injury in the process of scoring his try. He could be out of action for as long as four months, meaning he will miss the Junior World Championship that will be held in South Africa in June.
James Haskell of the Highlanders has been cited for alleged foul play during this match, Sanzar has announced. The England international is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or Striking when he struck Toyota Cheetahs player Justin Downey twice as he left a scrum that was being completed.
There was a scuffle between several players immediately following the incident, which occurred in the 33rd minute of the match.
Toyota Cheetahs – Tries: Coenie Oosthuizen, Andries Ferreira, Johan Goosen. Conversions: Goosen (2), Sias Ebersohn . Penalty goals: Goosen (3), Sias Ebersohn.
Highlanders – Tries: Chris Noakes, Jimmy Cowan (2). Conversions: Noakes (3). Penalty goals: Mike Delany (3), Noakes (2).
Other results – Round 10:
Blues 11 Reds 23 (Auckland)
Chiefs 33 Hurricanes 14 (Hamilton)
Waratahs 33 Crusaders 37 (Sydney)