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FEATURED

Vodacom Super Rugby review – round 14

PUBLISHED: May 27, 2012



The Sharks made a massive stride in the South African Conference when they defeated the DHL Stormers in a superb derby in Durban on Saturday evening.

The home side outscored their Capetonian visitors by three tries to two and while it looked like The Sharks were going to run away with it midway through the second half, the DHL Stormers never gave up, securing a bonus point in losing 25-20 at Mr Price Kings Park.

Earlier on Saturday, the Toyota Cheetahs won a high scoring encounter against the Waratahs by 35-34 in Bloemfontein. A total of nine tries were scored as both sides played an attractive brand of attacking rugby.

The MTN Lions lost their final tour match in Perth on Saturday afternoon, succumbing in the second half to the Force by 17-11.

And on Friday morning, the New Zealand Conference leading Chiefs were too strong for the Vodacom Bulls, winning a tough and physical encounter by 28-22 in Hamilton.

Note: By clicking on the various headings, you will be able to access the breakdown for that specific match on www.sarugby.co.za, where team line-ups, replacements and run of play can be found.

Chiefs 28 (8) Vodacom Bulls 22 (16)

Defensive lapses and errors on attack cost the Vodacom Bulls dearly as they went down by 28-20 to the New Zealand Conference leading Chiefs in Hamilton in the final match of their Vodacom Super Rugby tour to Australasia on Friday.

The Vodacom Bulls had many great attacking opportunities, but could only make it count once when Bjorn Basson crossed on the stroke of halftime. The Chiefs’ defence deserve credit, but at the same time it has to be said that the team from Pretoria didn’t show enough patience when they got to the strike zone.

Mistakes on the ground, handling errors and general inaccuracy were the Vodacom Bulls’ greatest enemies. They also allowed the dangerous Chiefs space to attack and looked lethargic in the second half, during which time the home team turned a 16-8 halftime deficit into another impressive win.

Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn scored 17 points with the boot, including a well-taken drop goal in the first half. But outside him the Vodacom Bulls’ backline never really got going, although they were starved of possession for long periods during the game.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, the visitors were still ahead, but a converted try by Sam Cane saw the Chiefs take the lead which they held on to until the end of a very tough and physical encounter.

Scorers:

Chiefs –Tries: Andrew Horrell, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Sam Cane. Conversion: Aaron Cruden. Penalty goals: Cruden(3).

Vodacom Bulls – Try: Bjorn Basson. Conversion: Morné Steyn. Drop goal: Steyn. Penalty goals: Steyn (4).

Force 17 (3) MTN Lions 11 (8)

It was heartbreak in the final 25 minutes of their match against the Force as the MTN Lions lost their last Vodacom Super Rugby tour game to Australasia by 17-11 in Perth on Saturday afternoon.

With less than half an hour left on the clock, the MTN Lions were still leading by 8-3 – which was also the halftime score – following a fourth minute try by Michael Killian and a penalty goal by Elton Jantjies.

However, as the game progressed the Force hit their stride and in the final 40 minutes took control as the MTN Lions lost a bit of steam following four tough weeks on the road.

First, Force skipper David Pocock bullocked his way over for the first of his side’s two tries in the 58th minute. The try was converted and when MTN Lions flanker Derick Minnie was sent to the sin bin, the Western Australians used their numerical advantage as the imposing Napolioni Nalaga scored next to the posts.

Utility back Ruan Combrinck got the visitors a losing bonus point when he slotted a tricky penalty goal in injury time, with the result already beyond any doubt.

Scorers:

Force – Tries: David Pocock, Napolioni Nalaga. Conversions: Ben Seymour (2). Penalty goal: Seymour.

MTN Lions – Try: Michael Killian. Penalty goals: Elton Jantjies, Ruan Combrinck.

Toyota Cheetahs 35 (21) Waratahs 34 (31)

There were tries aplenty at the Free State Stadium but also a nail-biting finish between the Toyota Cheetahs and the Waratahs, as they slugged it out in a classic Vodacom Super Rugby clash, with the hosts edging out their New South Wales opponents 35-34 on Saturday.

The home team conceded four tries but scored five in a match where fortunes fluctuated between tries due to poor defence, intercepts, stunning individual skills and great team play.

The home side conceded two tries in the opening six minutes, but scored three in reply before the visitors again struck back with a brace just before the break to secure a comfortable 31-21 lead at the end of the first half.

One of the highlights of the first 40 minutes was when Toyota Cheetahs skipper Adriaan Strauss intercepted on the halfway line and outstripped the cover defence to score in the corner.

A great team try by WP Nel edged the Toyota Cheetahs closer before a brilliant individual effort by Willie le Roux and a successful conversion by Sias Ebersohn gave the home side a deserving margin and a win at home.

Scorers:

Toyota Cheetahs – Tries: Piet van Zyl, Willie le Roux (2), Adriaan Strauss, WP Nel. Conversions: Riaan Smit (4), Sias Ebersohn.

Waratahs – Tries: David Dennis, Sitaleki Timani (2), Rob Horne. Conversions: Brendan McKibbin (4). Penalty goals: McKibbin (2).

The Sharks 25 (20) DHL Stormers 20 (6)

The Sharks got one over the DHL Stormers on Saturday evening, but were made to work very hard in the final moments of this very tough local Vodacom Super Rugby derby.

By winning this encounter 25-20 at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban on Saturday evening, The Sharks not only kept alive their chances of reaching the Qualifiers, but also inflicted only the second defeat of the season on the DHL Stormers.

It was an epic in every sense of the word. The Sharks raced to an impressive 20-6 lead at halftime and stretched that to 25-6 soon after the break, but the DHL Stormers never gave up and fought back to 25-20 with two tries by Springbok speedster Gio Aplon.

Before Aplon’s heroics though, it looked like one-way traffic in Durban. First French import Fred Michalak scored and then Sharks captain Keegan Daniel crossed – both in an impressive first half by the home team.

Shortly after the break Springbok wing Lwazi Mvovo crossed in the corner for The Sharks’ third try. As it looked like the home team was going to put the visitors away, Aplon pounced on a wayward pass to race away for his first try.

Later in the second half, he was put through a gap by DHL Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers and with ? minutes left, it looked like the Capetonians were going to upset the apple cart. It wasn’t to be though and The Sharks recorded their fourth win on the trot.

Scorers:

The Sharks – Tries: Fred Michalak, Keegan Daniel, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2). Penalty goals: Lambie (2).

DHL Stormers – Tries: Gio Aplon (2). Conversions: Peter Grant (2). Penalty goals: Grant (2).

Other results – Round 12:

Hurricanes 66 Rebels 24 (Wellington)

Blues 20 Highlanders 27 (Auckland)

Brumbies 12 Reds 13 (Canberra)

Vodacom Super Rugby Logs:

Combined Log

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

Chiefs (NZ Leader)

12

10

0

2

330

247

83

35

18

5

53

2

DHL Stormers (SA Leader)

12

10

0

2

265

196

69

21

15

2

50

3

Brumbies (Aus Leader)

12

7

0

5

314

250

64

33

22

9

45

4

Vodacom Bulls (Wild card)

12

8

0

4

371

274

97

38

27

8

48

5

Crusaders (Wild card)

12

8

0

4

346

257

89

32

25

6

46

6

Sharks (Wild card)

13

8

0

5

342

285

57

36

26

9

45

7

Highlanders

13

9

0

4

307

288

19

30

21

4

44

8

Reds

13

8

0

5

276

301

-25

28

30

4

40

9

Hurricanes

13

7

0

6

405

370

35

49

35

8

40

10

Toyota Cheetahs

13

5

0

8

346

371

-25

31

36

8

32

11

Waratahs

13

4

0

9

303

323

-20

29

33

10

30

12

Rebels

12

4

0

8

273

398

-125

27

47

5

29

13

Force

13

3

0

10

256

342

-86

24

37

7

23

14

Blues

13

2

0

11

263

364

-101

23

44

5

17

15

MTN Lions

12

1

0

11

205

336

-131

18

38

3

15

South African Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

DHL Stormers

12

10

0

2

265

196

69

21

15

2

50

2

Vodacom Bulls

12

8

0

4

371

274

97

38

27

8

48

3

Sharks

13

8

0

5

342

285

57

36

26

9

45

4

Toyota Cheetahs

13

5

0

8

346

371

-25

31

36

8

32

5

MTN Lions

12

1

0

11

205

336

-131

18

38

3

15

New Zealand Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

Chiefs

12

10

0

2

330

247

83

35

18

5

53

2

Crusaders

12

8

0

4

346

257

89

32

25

6

46

3

Highlanders

13

9

0

4

307

288

19

30

21

4

44

4

Hurricanes

13

7

0

6

405

370

35

49

35

8

40

5

Blues

13

2

0

11

263

364

-101

23

44

5

17

Australian Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

Brumbies

12

7

0

5

314

250

64

33

22

9

45

2

Reds

13

8

0

5

276

301

-25

28

30

4

40

3

Waratahs

13

4

0

9

303

323

-20

29

33

10

30

4

Rebels

12

4

0

8

273

398

-125

27

47

5

29

5

Force

13

3

0

10

256

342

-86

24

37

7

23

Top points’ scorers:

Player

Team

Tries

Conv

Pen

Drops

Tot

Morné Steyn

Vodacom Bulls

1

28

38

3

184

Aaron Cruden

Chiefs

2

28

33

0

165

Beauden Barrett

Hurricanes

2

29

30

0

158

Johan Goosen

Toyota Cheetahs

3

17

31

1

145

Patrick Lambie

Sharks

1

18

29

0

128

Tom Taylor

Crusaders

1

14

30

0

123

Mike Harris

Reds

0

15

26

1

111

Christian Lealiifano

Brumbies

0

17

25

0

109

Gareth Anscombe

Blues

2

13

21

1

102

Joe Pietersen

DHL Stormers

2

6

25

0

97

Brendan McKibbin

Waratahs

1

16

19

0

94

David Harvey

Force

1

11

20

0

87

James O`Connor

Rebels

2

6

20

0

82

Peter Grant

DHL Stormers

2

8

18

0

80

Elton Jantjies

MTN Lions

0

10

18

0

74

Chris Noakes

Highlanders

2

13

11

0

69

André Taylor

Hurricanes

10

1

1

0

55

Mike Delany

Highlanders

0

3

16

0

54

James Stannard

Force

3

3

10

0

51