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Sharks give it away at the end

1

The Sharks had the perfect opportunity to get a win over the Hurricanes on Friday but gave it away in the 83 minute.

It was West last conversion that gave the Hurricanes the win over the Sharks.

The Hurricanes who lost Barrett just before the match looked out of sorts with West at 10 and the Sharks did everything to win the game except they did not.

West had a mixed game for the Hurricanes but he will walk away the hero.

The Hurricanes made allot of mistakes which is not something we used to.

The Sharks had a brilliant start to the match playing fast and direct which put the Hurricanes off their game.

The Sharks pack ran at the Hurricanes defence and put them on the back foot.

It was the Sharks first on the board with a penalty to open the scoring.

But Jordie Barrett scored the first try soon after and their second try cane not long after that.

That gave the Hurricanes a 12-3 lead early on before the Sharks scored their first try through Am.

The second Sharks try came of a powerful scrum which Schreuder picked up and scored close to the sticks.

This gave the Sharks the lead of 17-12 but they soon gave that it away again 19-17 for the host.

Du Preez landed a penalty to give the Sharks the lead back before Am scored his second try just before halftime

The second half was a more subdued affair as both sides were more resilient on defence. Two further penalties from West early in the half meant the Hurricanes were trailing by two points but Du Preez also added a three-pointer off the kicking tee in the 55th minute which gave the Sharks a 30-25 lead.

West landed another penalty in the 72nd minute but despite holding a slender two-point lead, the Sharks stayed true to their attacking roots and were rewarded a minute later when Tyler Paul crossed for their fourth try, from close quarters.

Du Preez’s conversion made it 37-28 to the visitors but West reduced the deficit when he slotted another penalty in the 78th minute.

The closing stages was a tense affair as the Hurricanes were camped inside the Sharks’ 22 and the visitors’ cause was not helped when Franco Marais was yellow carded for a cynical foul on defence.

The Hurricanes made full use of their numerical advantage and four minutes after the hooter, they managed to create an overlap and Laumape rounded off before West stepped up to slot the match-winning kick.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: 
Barrett, Laumape 2, Aso
Cons: West 3
Pens: West 4

For Sharks:
Tries:
 Am 2, Schreuder, Paul
Cons: R du Preez 4
Pens: R du Preez 3
Yellow Card: Marais

Saders beat Lions

6

Another weekend of Super Rugby and another disappointing performance from De Bruin Lions side as the Crusaders beat them 14-8 on Sunday.

They look half the side they have been over the last two years and are starting to look like a side struggling.

The Lions started the game with speed running all at the Crusaders which gave them some field position as well.

The scrums look good for the Lions at first and they looked like they had their number in that department.

They were also the first to score points with a great try from Tambwe who got a great pass from Marx down the line.

This gave the Lions a 5-0 lead after 12 minutes.

The teams tested each other for the rest of the half but defence from both sides where solid and they struggled to get through.

The Saders did go over for a try but it was judges by the TMO that there was a forward pass leading up to it.

At the end they went into halftime with the Lions 5-0 in the lead.

It was all Crusaders in the second half as they kept the ball in hand and after sustained pressure in the first 11 minutes they got over for their first try.

It took not long to break the Lions defence again as they got their second try off a lineout.

This gave the Saders a 14-5 lead and the Lions to play catchup rugby.

The Lions tried hard but so many mistakes on attack with bad choices and handling errors stop any momentum they may had.

The once powerful exciting Lions backline as become predictable and unable to get pass defensive system.

They also ran to much sideways not creating space for players.

The Lions got a penalty to reduce the score to 14-8 but could not get anything in the last few minutes as the Crusaders easily stopped a driving maul of the Lions to secure a vital away win.

MATCH STATS

Lions Lions 14  Crusaders Crusaders

Scorers:

Lions

 

Tries – Michael Tambwe(14′)

Penalties – Elton Jantjies(77′)

Cons – None

Crusaders

 

Tries – Jack Goodhue(53′) Sam Whitelock(50′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Mitch Hunt(54′) Sam Whitelock(51′)

 

Bulls outscore Stormers at Loftus

6

The Vodacom Bulls came back from tour with zero wins but beat the Stormers at Loftus on Saturday night with 33-23.

Adriaan Strauss who played in his record-breaking 149 Super Rugby match scored a three tries to help the Bulls to secure their second home win of the season.

The Bulls had a dominate start to the match and surprisingly they got the better of the Stormers tight five in the early exchanges.

The Bulls backs looked full of running and with the Stormers making to many mistakes on attack the Bulls was presented with opportunities to attack as well.

They looked the better team for the better part of the first half and were also the first to put points on the board after a great drive to see the first of Strauss tries.

The Stormers got on the board with a penalty from Willemse but it was the Bulls that scored the tries early on in the first half.

They scored their second try after De Allende got a yellow card for repeated offences which was also Strauss second try of the match.

That gave the Bulls a 12-3 lead and in charge of the match. They looked better on attack and defence and where doing most of the pay.

The Bulls extended their lead with Kotze taking a spilled pass and ran into the corner to score the Bulls third try.

The Stormers hit back with de Klerk that scored their first try of the match which reduced the score to 19-11.

Damien de Allende then made right the wrongs of the yellow card earlier when he chipped a kick to pick up and scored a brilliant try just on halftime to reduce the lead to just one point, 19-18.

The second half did not start well for the Stormers when Du Toit was shown a yellow card for rucking on a players head.

This gave the Bulls the advantage again which resulted in Strauss scoring his third try and the lead of 24-18.

With some continuity at last from the Stormers it was Kolisi at the end of another try in the corner which reduce the score again to 26-23.

The Bulls hit back almost immediately with Jesse Kriel getting over.

The Bulls got a late penalty over to take the score to 33-23 which was enough to take a win at home against the Stormers.

MATCH STATS

Bulls Bulls 33 23 Stormers Stormers

Scorers:

Bulls

 

Tries – Jesse Kriel(70′) Adriaan Strauss(46′) John-Ben Kotze(31′) Adriaan Strauss(17′) Adriaan Strauss(6′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Handre Pollard(70′) Handre Pollard(47′) Handre Pollard(32′) Handre Pollard(8′)

Stormers

 

Tries – Siya Kolisi(66′) Damian de Allende(40′) Jan de Klerk(37′)

Penalties – Damian Willemse(24′) Damian Willemse(15′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(41′)

 

 

Tahs takes another Aussie derby

0

The Waratahs continued with their impressive recent form when they secured a 24-17 win over the Brumbies in their Australian Canberra on Saturday.

In a tightly contested battle, the Waratahs outscored their hosts two tries to one with Taqele Naiyaravoro scoring both the visitors’ five-pointers and the result means the men from Sydney end a three-match losing streak against the Brumbies.

The victory means the Waratahs move above the Reds into second position on the Australian Conference table while the Brumbies are still in fourth place. All three sides have played five matches so far – one less that the Rebels, who are at the top of the standings.

The match started on an even keel and the sides were deadlocked at 3-3 by the 10th minute after Bernard Foley and Wharenui Hawera traded penalties although the Waratahs suffered a major setback in the fourth minute when Israel Folau was forced off the field with a hamstring injury.

Both teams added a penalty apiece during the next 15 minutes which meant they were level at 6-6 although the Waratahs should have held a 12-6 lead but Foley missed with two further shots at goal.

The game came alive in the 26th minute when Hawera spotted a gap behind the Waratahs’ defence and stabbed a perfectly-weighted grubber kick through which Lausii Taliauli gathered before dotting down.

Hawera’s conversion attempt was off target which meant the home side led 11-6 but just before half-time Taqele Naiyaravoro found himself in space close to the halfway line and rounded Henry Speight before racing away to score his side’s first try.

Foley did well to convert from close to the touchline which meant the match was evenly poised with the Waratahs leading 13-11 at the interval.

The visitors made a terrific start to the second half and shortly after the restart, Foley and Kurtley Beale combined brilliantly to create space for Alex Newsome. The replacement back was soon deep inside the Brumbies’ 22 and did well to throw an inside pass to Naiyaravoro, who crossed for his second. try.

Five minutes later, Hawera narrowed the gap when he landed a penalty after Rob Simmons was blown up for an indiscretion at a lineout but the Waratahs had a bulk of the possession during the rest of the half and in the 64th minute Foley landed another penalty after Richie Arnold was blown up for a dangerous tackle.

The Brumbies tried desperately to haul in their visitors but although Hawera added another penalty in the 71st minute, the Waratahs cancelled that effort out when Foley slotted his fourth penalty in the game’s closing stages.

MATCH STATS

Brumbies Brumbies 17 24  Waratahs Waratahs

The scorers:

Brumbies

 

Tries – Lausii Taliauli(26′)

Penalties – Wharenui Hawera(71′) Wharenui Hawera(49′) Wharenui Hawera(20′) Wharenui Hawera(10′)

Cons – None

Waratahs

 

Tries – Taqele Naiyaravoro(43′) Taqele Naiyaravoro(41′)

Penalties – Bernard Foley(77′) Bernard Foley(65′) Bernard Foley(25′) Bernard Foley(5′)

Cons – Bernard Foley(43′)

 

 

Hurricanes demolish Rebels in try-fest

0

The Hurricanes demolished the Rebels 50-19 on Friday after being down 19-8 at one stage in the first half.

The Hurricanes came out firing and the Rebels did good to stop them in the first few minutes although the Hurricanes were first on the board with a penalty.

From a turnover the Hurricanes make them pay as they had a overlap with the Barrett brother combining before Beuuden put Lam away in the corner.

The Rebels slotted 3 penalties to take the lead 9-8 and starting to get back in the faces of the Hurricanes.

It was the Rebels that slotted a penalty and got their first try from some poor officiating again as a clear knock on was shown but TMO decided it was knocked back.

This with a penalty gave the Rebels a 19-8 lead and forcing the Hurricanes to play catchup rugby which they did with style.

They first forced a penalty to reduce the score to 19-12 and then a great cross kick found Lam and he powered through for a seven pointer.

Just on the stroke of halftime Barrett showed his class when he dummied close to the line to score the Hurricanes third try and the lead of 25-19 at halftime.

The Hurricanes kept the pressure on in the second half and got first points on the board with a penalty to extend the lead to 28-19.

The Hurricanes then step up a gear as they are masters in finding space which Evans easily found and got over for another try.

This gave the Hurricanes a good lead of 33-19.

The Hurricanes had a period that they were forced to defend in their half with a few opportunities for the Rebels but handling hold any chances of scoring points.

It was the Hurricanes who send Laumape away to run over two defenders to score yet another to extend the lead to 40-19.

With the Rebels starting to get desperate they tried to ran from their own half and from turnover Lam was given the ball to sprint down the line for his third try of the night.

The Hurricanes was not done as they got Lam over for his forth try and hit 50 against the Rebels.

This result will put some perspective on the Rebels top of the log position against mid-class opposition.

MATCH STATS

Rebels Rebels 19   50 Hurricanes Hurricanes

Scorers:

Rebels

 

Tries – Matt Philip(30′)

Penalties – Jack Debreczeni(26′) Jack Debreczeni(22′) Jack Debreczeni(15′) Jack Debreczeni(5′)

Cons – Jack Debreczeni(30′)

Hurricanes

 

Tries – Ben Lam(80′) Ben Lam(70′) Ngani Laumape(61′) Gareth Evans(49′) Beauden Barrett(40′) Ben Lam(34′) Ben Lam(11′)

Penalties – Beauden Barrett(45′) Beauden Barrett(34′) Beauden Barrett(3′)

Cons – Beauden Barrett(63′) Beauden Barrett(41′) Beauden Barrett(35′)

Chiefs sneak pass Highlanders

0

The Chiefs outlast the Highlanders on Friday to take a close win of 27-22.

All entertaining match as two great attacking teams took to the field on Friday morning.

The Chiefs showed early dominance with better control on the ball and as per normal the skills to go with that as well.

They were first on the board with two penalties as they turned the field position into points taking and early lead.

It was the Highlanders however that scored the first try. A superb kick out to the wing bounces in favorable for Naholo and he gathers the ball, he beat a defender and scored in the corner.

That gave the Highlanders a 7-6 lead.

A fantastic try for the Chiefs just before halftime gave them the lead back with a kick to the wings went in perfectly and a pass back to Alaimalo got them over the line.

That gave them a 13-7 lead and the score for the teams going into the break.

Early in the second half the Chiefs were on the board again with a linebreak from McKenzie with a pick and go by Harris to score their second try.

The extended to 20-7 and some catchup rugby required by the Highlanders was necessary.

The Highlanders were up to the challenge as they put huge pressure on the Chiefs in their half and a great pass to Li out on the wing got them another try.

The Highlanders kept the pressure on the Chiefs and a kick bounces their way which saw Thomkinson going over and the lead of 22-20 for the Highlanders.

The Chiefs replied immediately to take the lead back 27-22 getting through 12 phases to send Wainui over in the corner.

The Chiefs were able to hang on to the last attack from the Highlanders and take the game 27-22.

MATCH STATS

Chiefs Chiefs 27 22 Highlanders Highlanders

Scorers: 

Chiefs

 

Tries – Sean Wainui(68′) Nathan Harris(44′) Solomona Alaimalo(39′)

Penalties – Damian McKenzie(20′) Damian McKenzie(11′)

Cons – Damian McKenzie(70′) Damian McKenzie(45′) Damian McKenzie(41′)

Highlanders

 

Tries – Sio Tomkinson(63′) Tevita Li(51′) Waisake Naholo(23′)

Penalties – Fletcher Smith(59′)

Cons – Fletcher Smith(64′) Fletcher Smith(25′)

Lions outplayed again by Jaguares in Argentina

18

The Jaguares got another win against the Lions at home when they beat them 49-35 on Saturday night.

It was another poor defensive performance from the Lions as the Jaguares ran in six tries.

The Lions made the worst start possible letting the Jaguares to dominate in the game and broke the rushed defence from the Lions to score the first try within 2 minutes.

This gave them a 7-0 lead early on.

The Lions started to get more ball and playing better hand in hand rugby but handling errors stopped any progress they made.

The Lions finally managed to hold on to the ball and scored two quick tries which gave them the lead 14-10 after 20 minutes.

Just as the Lions started to look like they where dominating the Jaguares came back with a try of their own from some great hard work from forwards.

This gave them the lead of 15-14 back after 28 minutes.

The Lions was put on the backfoot with the Jaguares playing a fast game with quick hands and after spending some time in Lions half got a penalty to extend the lead to 18-14.

On the stroke of halftime, the Jaguares again outclass the Lions with speed and quick hands to create an overlap to get another try.

This gave them a 25-14 lead at the break.

The Jaguares was first to score again in the second half extending their lead to 32-14 and looking like they will take the game away from the Lions.

The Lions were able to start and control the ball better and score two quick tries to come within four points of the Jaguares just to let it slip again with poor defence.

The Jaguares extended the lead again to 39-28.

It was almost one for you and one for me at this stage of the game as Marx got over from a lineout drive to bring the score to 39-35 for the Jaguares.

The Lions was put under pressure again and with the pressure came another poor defensive effort from the Lions as they gave another try away.

The Jaguares slotted another penalty over which made the score 49-35 with 6 min to go.

The Lions had to settle again for another defeat at the hands of the Jaguares in Argentina and it was a well deserved win for the Jaguares outscoring the Lions six tries to five

Scorers:

Jaguares

 

Tries – Javier Ortega Desio(72′) Bautista Ezcurra(65′) Emiliano Boffelli(47′) Javier Ortega Desio(40′) Emiliano Boffelli(28′) Bautista Delguy(1′)

Penalties – Nicolas Sanchez(75′) Nicolas Sanchez(37′) Nicolas Sanchez(11′)

Cons – Nicolas Sanchez(73′) Nicolas Sanchez(66′) Nicolas Sanchez(48′) Nicolas Sanchez(41′) Nicolas Sanchez(2′)

Lions

 

Tries – Malcolm Marx(67′) Lourens Erasmus(62′) Malcolm Marx(56′) Sylvian Mahuza(22′) Marvin Orie(17′)

Penalties – Elton Jantjies(63′)

Cons – Elton Jantjies(68′) Elton Jantjies(58′) Elton Jantjies(23′) Elton Jantjies(18′)

Stormers get win but Reds push them till the end

0

The Stormers took back to back win at home when they beat the Reds 25-19 at Newlands on Saturday.

The almost thrown the game away in the last minute of the game but manage to hold on

With both the Bulls and Sharks losing South African supporters needed something from the Stormers and they started well against the Reds.

Dominating the play in the first 30 minutes they starved the Reds from ball and played most of the half in the Reds half.

The Reds Taniela Tupou was lucky not to been shown a red card after a no arms late hit on Barry which the referee and TMO seen as all right.

The Stormers got on the board with a penalty from Willemse as they kept the Reds pinned down in their own half.

It was some magic from Rhule and Viljoen that send Duvenage over for the first try and a lead of 8-0 for the Stormers.

With the Reds making allot of mistakes with ball in hand the Stormers kept the pressure on and soon got their second try through their forwards.

That gave them a 15-0 lead and starting to look like they will run away a bit from the Reds.

Another penalty for a high tackle gave Willemse another chance to extend the lead to 18-0.

The Stormers lost a lineout on their own twenty-two and the Reds where quick to run at the gabs and scored their first try to make the halftime score 18-7.

The second half did not start well for Stormers as they again where forced into a mistake that gave the Reds their second try.

Two mistakes within 5 minutes of the end of first half and beginning of second half brought the Reds right back in the match.

The Stormers hit back with a great scrum from the pack which gave the backs to work their magic and send Rhule over in the corner.

The Stormers seemed to get back the control of the game but with 62 minutes gone it was still anyone game.

Mistakes on attack cost the Stormers from scoring a few more tries in the last quarter of the match.

The Stomers kept the Reds ain their twenty two but a lack in defence gave Aidan Toua a break away try and brought them back for the win.

The Stormers had to defend for all they worth in the last play of the match to take the win

Scorers:

Stormers

 

Tries – Raymond Rhule(53′) Wilco Louw(26′) Dewaldt Duvenage(15′)

Penalties – Damian Willemse(32′) Damian Willemse(3′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(55′) Damian Willemse(27′)

Reds

 

Tries – Filipo Daugunu(80′) Alex Mafi(42′) Caleb Timu(37′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Jono Lance(42′) Jono Lance(38′)

Rebels smash awful Sharks

3

The Rebels has taken advantage of another poor showing from the Sharks to get a bonus point win on Friday.

This has moved the Rebels up to the number 1 spot on the overall log and improved their number 1 spot in the Aussie conference.

It was a great win for the Rebels after last weeks lost against the Waratahs and has dumped the Sharks into deeper troubles.

Their was allot of talk pre-season about the Sharks changes this year but that is slipping away faster that Cape Town dam levels at the moment.

As great as the Rebels played, the Sharks managed to drop to an even lower level than last weeks lackluster performance.

The Rebels began the stronger of the two sides and took an early 3-0 courtesy of a Reece Hodge penalty. They were rewarded for their dominance with the game’s first try in the 12th after Jack Debrezeni put in an excellent cross-field kick which enabled Marika Koroibete to push Sharks wing Sbu Nkosi in to touch.

From the resulting lineout, Rebels hooker Anaru Rangi was able to go straight through the back of the maul and over. Hodge made no mistake with the conversion.

In the 17th minute, the Sharks were reduced to fourteen men for ten minutes when Curwin Bosch was yellow-carded for knocking down Jack Maddocks’ pass which would have allowed Koroibete an easy run-in.

After a poor start to the game in which their ball was laboured and line speed even slower, the Sharks finally got their act together when they scored a fantastic team try.

Lukhanyo Am made the break before a series of short passes and offloads between backs and forwards saw the ball eventually arrive in Lwazi Mvovo’s hands, the winger showing impressive strength to haul a couple of defenders with him over the line. Fly-half Robert du Preez added the extras to cut the deficit to three at 10-7 with half an hour gone.

Eight minutes later and just two minutes before half-time, the impressive Rangi grabbed his brace, going over at the back of a well-worked driving maul. Hodge missed the conversion as the Rebels took a 15-7 lead in to the interval.

The second-half was a much more one-sided affair, with the Rebels grabbing the tie by the scruff of the neck.

Debreczeni extended the lead five minutes after break to 18-7 with a penalty after Sharks scrum-half Louis Schreuder was penalised for offside at the scrum.

After the Rebels had a five-metre attacking scrum in the 55th minute, they went for the line and won a short-arm penalty. Scrum-half Will Genia first played a pop pass for Richard Hardwick who was halted inches short. From the ruck, Genia made a sniping break and managed to get the ball down. Debreczeni’s conversion took the home side out to a 25-7 lead.

With a quarter of the match to go, the Rebels were rewarded for a fantastic passage of play with their fourth try. After excellent work by Amanaki Mafi and Genia at the breakdown securing the turnover, Genia spun the pass out right to captain Adam Coleman, who made an incisive break.

It went through the hands before the ball eventually spilled loose and Billy Meakes did well to react quickest, before showing good upper body strength to power his way over the line despite the attentions of three Sharks defenders..

Soon after, the icing was well and truly put on the cake when relacement prop Fereti Sa’aga made an exceptional line break with nothing on before playing the final pass for Ross Haylett-Petty to coast in under the posts. Debreczeni’s conversion made it 39-7.

With five minutes to go, April held the ball up well, before playing a pop pass for Marius Louw who ran the perfect line to break through and dot down for his second.

But it was only a consolation try, as the Rebels added to their tally with a late Sa’aga five-pointer to run out 46-14 winners.

The scorers:

Rebels

 

Tries – Fereti Sa’aga(81′) Ross Haylett-Petty(68′) Bill Meakes(64′) Will Genia(56′) Anaru Rangi(38′) Anaru Rangi(11′)

Penalties – Jack Debreczeni(45′) Reece Hodge(2′)

Cons – Jack Debreczeni(82′) Jack Debreczeni(69′) Jack Debreczeni(64′) Jack Debreczeni(57′) Reece Hodge(12′)

Tries – Lwazi Mvovo(76′) Lwazi Mvovo(28′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Curwin Bosch(78′) Robert du Preez(30′)

Crusaders punish Bulls in the wet

4

The Bulls were handed their third defeat on tour when the Crusaders beat them 33-14 on Friday.

The defending champions bounce back after two losses against the Highlanders and Hurricanes to take a bonus point win.

It was a wet field as it rained throughout the match with the Crusaders adopting to the conditions and taking advantage of the Bulls mistakes and the penalties they conceded.

The Bulls just made too many errors while they did not convert their chances whereas the Crusaders were ruthlessly clinical, coming away with points every time they got into the end-zone.

The Bulls began on the front foot, taking the game to their more-fancied opponents. After the Bulls had won a scrum penalty, Handre Pollard’s kick to touch eight metres out gave them a genuine chance. The Crusaders were then penalised for not rolling away. Once again, Pollard opted for touch, a sign of the attacking enterprise of this new-look Bulls outfit.

After the Crusaders had given away four penalties in a row and referee Federico Anselmi had warned Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock about his side’s repeated infringements, the Bulls yet again opted not to take the three points which would come back to haunt them as the Crusaders would force a penalty off another predictable Bulls’ driving maul from the lineout.

92 percent possession and territory after the first 12 minutes had come to nought for the Bulls, something coach John Mitchell would be bitterly disappointed with.

In contrast, the Crusaders scored with their first sojourn upfield and it came from a turnover before they kicked the ball ahead with Warrick Gelant having no choice but to put the ball in to touch. From the lineout, they set up the driving maul which rumbled over as Scott Barrett eventually emerged with the ball from the pile of the bodies. Mitchell Hunt made no mistake with the conversion as the Crusaders took a 15th-minute 7-0 lead.

Anselmi lost his patience with the Crusaders for their repeated indiscretions when Tim Perry was yellow-carded for a high hit. Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was the Crusaders who scored next and extended their lead.

In almost identical fashion to the first, the Crusaders turned over, kicked the ball upfield and left Gelant no exit plan which forced him in to touch. From the resulting lineout, Codie Taylor broke off the back of the driving maul to power his way past a couple of defenders and over. Despite having only 30 percent possession and territory, the Crusaders showed just how ruthless they can be at 14-0 up with 14 men.

The Bulls, however, had an instant response and it came on the half hour mark from an attacking scrum 20 metres out. Bulls winger Travis Ismaiel was first receiver and scythed his way past three defenders to cap off a magnificent individual effort, halving the deficit and bringing the Bulls well and truly back in to the game.

However, the ‘Saders had the last laugh of the first half as centre Jack Goodhue showed a strong leg drive to somehow power his way past both Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman and number eight Tim Agaba from close range. Hunt added the extras as the hosts took a 21-7 lead into the interval.

The Crusaders were converting every time they went into the Bulls’ end-zone. After the visitors conceded a penalty, Hunt kicked an excellent touch finder. The Crusaders’ maul was successfully halted by the Bulls this time but as the ball was recyled right, Goodhue ran a lovely angle to find the gap between two Bulls defenders and dot down for his brace. Hunt’s conversion made it 28-7 with half an hour to go.

Having managed to win the penalty, the Bulls worked the ball off the lineout drive. Marco van Staden was not held in the tackle, got up and ran 15 metres to the line before diving over. Pollard’s conversion meant the Bulls trailed 28-14 with ten minutes to go.

Two minutes later, the Crusaders had worked their way close to the Bulls’ try-line before Hunt put in the cross-field kick. Manasa Mataele competed well in the air, knocking it backwards with George Bridge the first to pounce on the ball. The finisher still had plenty to do as he writhed his way past numerous defenders before producing the one-handed finish.

Hunt missed the conversion but it mattered little as the defending champions closed out the match comfortably.

The scorers: 

For Crusaders:
Tries: Barrett, Taylor, Goodhue 2, Bridge
Cons: Hunt 4
Yellow Card: Perry

For Bulls:
Tries: Ismaiel, Van Staden
Cons: Pollard 2

Nabetragting – Super Rugby Week 5

5

One thing I came to the conclusion this weekend was if you want to have a perfect score in your SuperBru prediction, then pick exactly the opposite of what I give you on a Thursday.

Week 5 has been a weekend of surprise results and only two of the South African teams that was able to get wins both at home.

As strange as it sounds, the Lions was lucky to come away with a win against the bottom of the log Sunwolves at home on Saturday, with the Stormers coming away with a dominating win over the Blues.

PosTeamPWLDBPPts
17610427
28530225
37520424
47511124
57530024
67420521
76421219
88241214

The Bulls managed to in a space of two weeks build a great lead just to give it all away in the second half.

As good as the Bulls played in that first half against the Chiefs as bad they did in the second forty giving a definite win away on a platter to the Chiefs.

It was an highly entertaining game with both teams wanting run the ball.

Although the Chiefs were full value for the win one do feel the Bulls were close in getting that full 80 minutes together like they did in their first match against the Hurricanes at Loftus.

Yellow cards have been a problem for the Bulls in more than one game this year so far and every time it cost the team big time.

The Chiefs at the outscored the Bulls by sevens tries to four but the worrying factor is the 35 tackles the Bulls missed in the game.

The Bulls lineouts got better but with the scrums the jury is still out, their is not allot of consistency in this area of the game.

What was great to see is the innovative effort that has been evident in their backline play against the Chiefs.

The one thing that we need to keep in mind is that this is a young team with a new coach and they are a team in progress at the moment.

We need not t forget that this is not going to happen overnight. The Lions and coach Akkers took a good four years in building before they become the quality team they are today.

What we have seen this year so far from the Bulls is promising and it is just a question of giving them time to grow.

It was the Sharks first game on tour and one that most of us believed that they should win, that unfortunately did not happen as the Brumbies got the win 24-17.

It was another any Sharks supporter will want to forget, which should be easy as in the past few years it happens allot.

It was one of those games that you wished your wife had asked you to go with her to the mall.

With so many quality players in this Sharks squad this year, it is difficult to understand the reasoning from the coaches on some selections in this team.

It is not that the Sharks did not have the ball to play with it was they way the used that possession. Louis Schreuder has not been working in this setup this year and it has become time now to give Cameron Wright a chance.

At fullback the Sharks have problems, Curwin Bosch have not convince in the number fifteen jumper as much as Mvovo so far.

The Sharks inability to keep the ball for long periods of time has been a problem and with that the skills if the players is not where it is suppose to be.

That supporters is getting frustrated with the coach and his plans has become clear as their frustration yet again was shown on social media.

I have always been of the opinion the coach can only coach during the week and at the weekend it is all the players.

At scrum time the Sharks were not dominated as they lost Beats before the game and the switch with Thomas du Toit is not working.

Lineouts again was a problem and with the set pieces not up to standard the Sharks will keep on struggling in this competition.

Next week it is the Rebels that will be waiting and a 100% turnaround is needed if they want to have success.

The surprise of the weekend came from the Stormers when they beat the Blues 37-20 at Newlands.

It was a total turnaround from what we saw from the Stormers on tour the last three weeks.

The battle was won with brilliant play from their inspirational captain Kolisi with Carr and Pieter Steph Du Toit at the breakdowns.

To be honest credit must be given to the whole pack that played like a team for a change and bullied the big Blues pack from the start.

They starved the Blues from possession and gave themselves for a change the opportunities to bring their backs in the game and scored some great tries.

Defence was at times a problem but overall the Stormers did well in this aspect of the game which was non existed on tour.

One player that need to be mentioned is the young Damian Willemse who is a player that seems to relish in the opportunity he is getting at the ten jumper.

His kicking game all over the park has improved since the first match of the season. His general play has improved as well as his decision making. Definitely a player to watch out for this season.

The Stormers will welcome the Reds next week at Newlands and much will be expected of them to get another win.

After last weeks lost against the Blues most of expected the Lions to jump back with some kind of an emphatic win when they face the Sunwolves who, to be honest, is the worst team in this competition.

But what we got was a team that seemed to be in panic as they got a lucky escape to squeeze past the men from Japan.

The most worrying aspect of the Lions on Saturday was the senior players like Coetzee, Jantjies and Cronje who showed panic and an inability to read the game.

They look like a team without a leader and it started last week when Whiteley left the field. The once confident team looked like a team in sixes and sevens against the Sunwolves.

The game of rugby is a game of basics that gives you the opportunity to express yourself. That was something that has been missing for two weeks now

The Lions starting to look like a team with stars playing for themselves and not as a team which they need to correct quickly as some difficult matches lies ahead for the men from Johannesburg.

The Lions got bullied by the Sunwolves as they conceded 18 turnovers in the game and they missed 31 tackles which is not something we used to from the Lions.

The Lions set pieces has been great as usual and led by the Springbok Marx who again put a man of the match performance together on the day.

Next week the Lions will travel to face the Jaguares in Argentina a match that they have lost the last two years.

Other Results:

Highlanders 25 – 17 Crusaders

The Highlanders surprise a few when they beat the defending champions, Crusaders side on Saturday, beating them 25-17.

It was again an exciting match-up between two New Zealand sides with the Highlanders getting a great start which they were able to keep until the end.

The Saders have been with injury problems since the start of the season and this has shown in their performances.

It is no reason to worry and the Crusaders will be their at the end of it all chasing the trophy.

The Highlanders have surprised the last few weeks with their tight five which has been a problem in recent years.

As always the New Zealand conference will be a tight affair.

Jaguares 7-18 Reds

The Reds traveled to Argentina to faced the Jaguares who came off a great win against the Waratahs but could not get their “mojo” back against the Reds on Saturday.

The Reds build on the win against the Bulls the previous week and got the win 18-7.

The Jaguares unfortunately are on of those teams that shows you how good they can be but then turn around and be as average as what you can get.

It seems to be the luck of the draw at this stage with the Jaguares and with the Reds a team busy to build nicely with their new coach.

Waratahs 51-27 Rebels

The Rebels had been given their first lost of the season with a much improved performance from the Waratahs.

It was a huge improvement overall from the Waratahs and for once this season they actually looked like team playing to their abilities.

There is allot of similarities between the Waratahs and Sharks side when it comes to proof that the names on the paper can produce a winning side.

The win is maybe just the Waratahs needed to kick-start their season.

Next weeks match-ups:

23 Crusaders v Bulls AMI Stadium 08:35
23 Rebels v Sharks AAMI Park 10:45
24 Sunwolves v Chiefs Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
24 Hurricanes v Highlanders Westpac Stadium 08:35
24 Stormers v Reds DHL Newlands 17:15
24 Jaguares v Lions Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40

 

Our weekly preview is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

Lions squeeze past Sunwolves

2

The Lions survived an almighty scare to secure a hard-fought 40-38 victory over the Sunwolves in Super Rugby at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Swys de Bruin’s side went into half-time leading 19-17 after a sloppy first half performance. They started the second half well but then allowed the Sunwolves back in to the game. However, they had enough grit to see them through.

The Sunwolves got the game off to a flying start, winning a penalty for offside and taking an early lead through the boot of William Tupou with just a minute on the clock.

However, the Lions hit back shortly afterwards, with Andries Coetzee fending off a tackle before scoring the first try of the game on the left in the eighth minute.

The hosts then scored their second in unusual fashion in the 19th. After obliterating the Sunwolves pack to win a scrum against the feed, the both Lions locks simultaneously pounced on the ball to dot down. Some sources credited the try to Marvin Orie and others to Lourens Erasmus, but either way, the Lions looked as if they were cruising.

However, the Sunwolves hit straight back. Lappies Labuschagne went close to going over the line, but was brought down just short. From there,  Kotaro Matsushima finished the job, scoring the visitors’ first try in the 22nd minute.

It took just five minutes before the Lions gave themselves some breathing space once again, with Malcolm Marx powering over from close range on the right.

However, the Sunwolves refused to lie down and scored the last try of the first half. Yutaka Nagare initiated it with a clever kick over the top. The Sunwolves chased it down and put Ross Cronje under pressure before forcing a turnover. Craig Millar was the man to capitalise, scoring on the left in the 31st minute.

Despite ending the first half off on the back foot, the Lions turned the tide within a matter of seconds after the restart. Aphiwe Dyantyi charged down Harumichi Tatekawa’s kick and went in for the try.

Back on the wing for the Sunwolves, Hosea Saumaki responded 10 minutes later, evading three tackles out wide and going all the way to score a superb solo try.

The Japanese side then sensationally took the lead in the 59th minute, with Kazuki Himeno intercepting a pass and running in under the posts.

That scare seemed to shock the Lions into action. Marx forced his way over again just three minutes later following a driving maul before Rohan Janse van Rensburg extended the lead in the 72nd minute, crashing through three attempted tackles following a well-worked lineout move.

A swift counter-attack saw Atsushi Sakate score in the 80th minute to keep the game alive, but the Lions ultimately held on for a nail-biting victory.

The scorers:

Lions

Tries – Rohan Janse van rensburg(72′) Malcolm Marx(62′) Aphiwe Dyantyi(41′) Malcolm Marx(27′) Marvin Orie(19′) Andries Coetzee(8′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Elton Jantjies(73′) Elton Jantjies(63′) Elton Jantjies(42′) Elton Jantjies(20′) Elton Jantjies(10′)

Sunwolves

Tries – Atsushi Sakate(80′) Kazuki Himeno(59′) Hosea Saumaki(51′) Craig Millar(31′) Kotaro Matsushima(22′)

Penalties – Will Tupou(2′)

Cons – Ryoto Nakamura(80′) Ryoto Nakamura(60′) Will Tupou(52′) Will Tupou(32′) Will Tupou(23′)

Stormers outscore the Blues

0

It was a different Stormers side that pitch up at Newlands on Saturday when they beat the Blues 37-20.

The Stormers forwards laid the foundation for the back to play the rugby we knew they could play and outscored the Blues five tries to three and a perfect kicking performance from Damien Willemse.

It was the Stormers that started with ball in-hand as the forwards put some powerful runs in to open it up for Viljoen to go over for the first try 2 minutes in the game.

That gave the Stormers a 7-0 lead early on in the match.

The Blues were able to put some pressure on the Stormers but defence forced them into mistakes and with a kick down field which Leyds fielded came into the hands of Du Toit who sprinted down the line to put Rhule in for their second try.

That gave them the 14-0 lead after 15 minutes.

The Blues got on the ball with a penalty but it was the Stormers again that turned on the heat after a charged down with Carr going over but the try was disallowed as he was infront of the player who charged the ball down.

The Stormers got another penalty over after yet another Blues player offside. That gave them a 17-3 lead after 32 minutes.

It was again the Stormers that where camping in the Blues red zone and the Blues where lucky that they did not get a card for yet again playing repeatedly offside.

From the lineout the Stormers forwards did the yards again to give Duvenge the space to dive over for their third try.

The teams went into the break with the Stormers leading 24-3.

The Stormers have dominated the breakdown and small battles which starved the Blues from ball and had to defend 90% of that first half.

The second half the Stormers seemed to still be in the change room as they looked out of it with the Blues doing the play and get the first points with a try to close the gap to 24-8.

The Stormers hit back immediately when JJ intercept the ball in his own half to run almost the whole field to find Viljoen in support to go over for his second of the afternoon.

It gave the Stormers a 31-8 lead after 52 minutes.

The Blues broke out from their own half to work their way through the Stormers defence to get their second try of the match.

The Stormers looked again good on attack but it was the Blues that got back in the Stormers half to get over for yet another try after some fast hands at the back.

The Stormers worked their way back to the Blues half and forced a penalty which Willemse kicked over to give them a 37-20 lead.

We saw some poor consistency from referees this weekend on the offside and repeatedly giving away penalties in red zone and the trend seemed to be the same for this clash.

The Stormers eat the end had enough of energy after a three week tour and the flu bug that pulled half the team down this week to take an great win 37-20.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Stormers Stormers 37  20 Blues Blues

Stormers

 

Tries – EW Viljoen(50′) Dewaldt Duvenage(36′) Nizaam Carr(22′) Raymond Rhule(13′) EW Viljoen(2′)

Penalties – Damian Willemse(72′) Damian Willemse(65′) Damian Willemse(30′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(52′) Damian Willemse(36′) Damian Willemse(15′) Damian Willemse(3′)

Blues

 

Tries –Rieko Ioane(69′) Michael Collins(57′) Akira Ioane(46′)

Penalties – Bryn Gatland(17′)

Cons – Stephen Perofeta(58′)

 

Brumbies beat woeful Sharks

1

It was yet another disappointing performance from a Sharks team when they lost against the Brumbies 24-17.

It was yet another poor performance from a Sharks team who should be playing allot better rugby.

The game did not start great for the touring Sharks with the Brumbies getting early penalties to get an opportunity to kick for points.

They took the lead 3-0 after just 5 minutes with a penalty from halfway.

The Sharks struggled to get any hands-on ball in the first 15 minutes having to defend for 90% of the time.

It did not get better for the Sharks as they kept on playing o the back foot because of silly penalties from them.

The team also got a team warning for offsides and not long after that the Brumbies went over for their first try of the match and a 10-0 lead.

Halfway through the half the game went nowhere fast with both teams giving away too many penalties to get any momentum.

The Sharks finally got some time in Brumbies twenty-two and forced a penalty which also gave the Brumbies a team warning for offsides in the red zone.

The penalty from Du Preez put the Sharks on the board after 30 minutes of play.

It did not get any better as both teams struggle to get a hold of the game. Both teams handling, decision making was as poor as we have seen this year so far.

The Brumbies went into the break with the lead of 10-3 to end a poor half of rugby.

The Second half started the worst possible way for the Sharks as their defence let them down again with the Brumbies getting their second try to extend their lead.

The Brumbies got another yellow card from a maul which they collapse, and the Sharks were pushing for their first try of the match.

The Sharks finally got over with Du Toit that got a short pass to dive in for their first try which gave the Brumbies only a 15-10 lead after 58 minutes.

The Brumbies got straight back into the Sharks half and forced another penalty from the scrum and extended the lead to 18-10.

The Sharks kept on giving away penalties at scrum time which gave the Brumbies yet another chance to extend the lead to 21-10 after 65 minutes.

The Sharks went south fast as their bench could not provide any impact and they kept on giving away penalties which the Brumbies happily kicked over to extend the lead to 24-10.

The Sharks gave themselves a change with a try from Bosch down the line.

The Sharks had a change to play for a draw but as throughout the game they could not do anything on attack.

This is a team with quality players but they play like a schoolboy side.

Next week the Rebels wait for them

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Brumbies Brumbies 24 17  Sharks Sharks

Brumbies

 

Tries – Henry Speight(47′) Lausii Taliauli(18′)

Penalties – Wharenui Hawera(72′) Wharenui Hawera(65′) Wharenui Hawera(62′) Wharenui Hawera(7′)

Cons – Wharenui Hawera(19′)

Sharks

 

Tries – Lukhanyo Am(77′) Thomas du Toit(57′)

Penalties – Robert du Preez(31′)

Cons – Robert du Preez(78′) Robert du Preez(58′)

Highlanders stay unbeaten against Crusaders

0

The Highlanders took the game in a highly entertaining macth on Saturday when they host the Crusaders.

The were just better at the important stages of the match to took a 25-17 win over the defending champions.

The game that both teams was expected to run the ball under the roof saw the Crusaders get over the whitewash first to take an early 7-0 lead.

This lead was only for about 4 minutes as the Highlanders hit back with their forwards to level the score again in the 10 minutes of the game.

The Highlanders quickly got to attacking mode and ended with Lima Sopoaga stepping over the line for their second and the lead.

The game was played at great speed by both sides.

With Crusaders on attack the Highlanders gave a penalty away which gave the Crusaders the chance to reduce the lead to 14-10.

Saders had a period in the middle part of the half with most of the ball but small mistakes cause some crucial turnovers which gave the Highlanders to get out of danger everytime.

The Crusaders then produce a thing of beauty to go over for their second try just to let it be disallowed by TMO for an earlier knock 0n.

This send the teams to the break with the Highlanders in the lead 14-10.

The Highlanders were given a huge blow when Waisake Naholo was bin for a high tackle which gave the Saders an extra man advantage.

With one man down the Highlanders took control of the ball and through some great hands and running into space the Highlanders got their third try of the match and the lead of 19-10 after 50 minutes.

We were waiting for that Crusaders magic and Manasa Mataele produced it with a great run down the line to send Hall over to close the gab to a 2-point game, 19-17.

The Highlanders started to get more of the ball in the right areas of the field and force a penalty to stretch their lead to 22-17.

The Highlanders kept the pressure on the Saders with some great runs down the line and forced another penalty to stretch the lead to 8 points with 10 minutes to go.

The Highlanders kept that lead till the end and took a well deserved win against the Crusaders.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Highlanders Highlanders 25 17  Crusaders Crusaders

 

Highlanders

 

Tries – Elliot Dixon(50′) Lima Sopoaga(15′) Liam Coltman(10′)

Penalties – Lima Sopoaga(70′) Lima Sopoaga(66′)

Cons – Lima Sopoaga(15′) Lima Sopoaga(11′)

Crusaders

 

 

Tries – Bryn Hall(55′) Jordan Taufua(39′) George Bridge(6′)

Penalties – Mitch Hunt(20′)

Cons – Mitch Hunt(56′) Mitch Hunt(8′)

Bulls throw game against Chiefs

7

The Bulls again blow it on Friday morning when they lost their match against the Chiefs 41-28 after a great first half.

The Chiefs had to work hard in that second half to come back and beat the Bulls who faded yet again like last week against the Reds after building a nice lead in the first half.

It was a highly entertaining match with both sides employing and expansive game-plan with the Chiefs outscoring the Bulls with six tries to four.

It was Springbok Warrick Gelant that crossed the line first after four minutes to give the Bulls the early lead.

It took the Chiefs not long to reply after the Bulls could not deal with a grubber kick and Fa’auli went over.

The Bulls were full value for great play from Jesse Kriel to offload to Rossouw who crossed for the Bulls second try of the match and the lead.

The Chiefs yet again answer with a try of their own with Retallick showing us what a class player he is.

With the game moving fast from one side to the other the Bulls gather a kick to offload to Kriel who gave a inside pass to Pollard who got over for their third try.

The Chiefs were playing catch up rugby after the break and Brown soon got over for the Chiefs third try.

Retallick again was the man of the moment as he sold Pollard the dummy of the year to get pass the effort of Visagie to get over for another try.

The Chiefs got the lead back in the 66th minute when McKenzie slotted over a penalty to take the score to 29-28  for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs then took control of the match as Solomon Alaimalo scored after gathering a well timed chip kick from Fa’auli and shortly before full-time, Anton Lienert-Brown pounced on a handling error from the Bulls – close to their try-line – when he went over for his side’s sixth try.

It was an great effort from the Bulls but a game of rugby is played for 80 minutes and they will have to learn to be on par for the full game.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Chiefs Chiefs 41  28  Bulls Bulls

Chiefs

 

Tries – Anton Lienert-Brown(81′) Solomona Alaimalo(74′) Brodie Retallick(56′) Mitchell Brown(43′) Brodie Retallick(36′) Jonathan Faauli(9′)

Penalties – Damian McKenzie(63′)

Cons – Damian McKenzie(83′) Damian McKenzie(45′) Damian McKenzie(38′) Damian McKenzie(10′)

Bulls

 

 

Tries – Handre Pollard(39′) Divan Rossouw(23′) Divan Rossouw(16′) Warrick Gelant(3′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Handre Pollard(40′) Handre Pollard(24′) Handre Pollard(16′) Handre Pollard(5′)

Nabetragting – Super Rugby Round 4

5

It was not the best weekend for South African side with only the Sharks able to get a win over the Sunwolves.

The Kiwi sides showed their talent in round 4 with great wins for the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Blues.

The most disappointing was the Lions throwing the game away against the Blues in Johannesburg.

The Log makes interesting reading after four rounds.

PosTeamPWLDPts
1761027
2853025
3752024
4751124
5753024
6742021
7642119
8824114
9733014
10734014
11731013
12835013
13725012
14835012
1570702

The Stormers ended their tour on a disappointing note as they got their third straight lost in row against the Highlanders.

It seems the Stormers was up for the challenge but again their inability to have an attacking plan with their backs showed on the night.

The forwards also struggled in the set pieces which gave them even less options to attack from.

Their defense showed promise at times but all in all something that stays a worry for the team. The Stormers looks most of the time as 15 individuals trying to play as a team.

The Stormers do have injury concerns but that is something any team has to except in this competition.

For the Stormers Willemse had a great game and is developing in a great number 10 but it was again the midfield that was disappointing in defence.

De Allende does many things right but he does more things wrong which makes him a huge liability to this team.

The most disappointing aspect of the Stormers play is their game on attack which every week looks worst than the week before.

It is going to be a long season for the men from Cape Town if they do not get back on winning ways.

As much praises we gave the Bulls the past two weeks we have to give the the critic this week.

What a disappointing performance from the Bulls against the Reds. They struggle to get momentum through the game and their senior players did not put up their hands on the day.

It was almost at one stage that the Bulls were getting back into their shell and started to play the old Bulls rugby.

They struggled in the scrums against the Reds and will be very disappointed in their effort.

The most disappointing aspect of their game was their attack which started so good in the first half but they could not handle the pressure the Reds put on them in that second half.

Kriel and Pollard did not have good games which is the two senior players you need to stand up with all the youngsters they have in this squad.

It is small things that can be fixed and we said from the start this Bulls team will get better we just hope they learn from this game mistakes as next week they take on the Chiefs.

Although not close to perfect the Sharks got their groove back against the Sunwolves before they go on their tour next week.

Their was some brilliant play and this week the passes stick which led to some brilliant tries.

The forwards did not dominate as expected against a Sunwolves side who we normally do not expect to be a great team in the scrums.

Most of the dismal aspects of the Sharks game seemed to have been corrected during the week and it was great to see this talented back line score tries.

The Sunwolves is not the strongest side in the competition and putting 50 points against them is expected and was done by Sharks.

The tour will be a huge challenge for the Sharks but they are a side that travel well and fans will hope that they pick up points in the next few weeks touring Australia and New Zealand.

The Lions match must be the most disappointing of the weekend as they thrown the game away against the Blues with some simple mistakes.

The Lions looked like a winning team throughout the match but everything that could go wrong in the last 15 minutes did for the men from Johannesburg.

It was not so much them playing badly but more the Blues that did not wait to pounce on the mistakes they made on attack and counter the way only New Zealand teams can do.

The lost of Warren Whiteley in the first half seemed to make a huge difference to the team as they were dominating every aspect of the match till then.

They did not dominate the set pieces as we got used to and diffidently an off day from the Lions.

Their was also some dodgy decisions from the referee at ruck time letting the Blues get away with murder at some stages of the game.

We not use to a losing Lions side but at the end the Blues deserved the win as they fought back brilliant in that second half.

I actually feel sorry for the Sunwolves next week as the Lions will not be happy and will be out to correct their mistakes against the Blues.

Other Results:

Rebels 33 – 10 Brumbies

The Rebels kept their momentum with a third straight win when they beat the Brumbies at home on Friday.

They outplayed the Brumbies in the second half in all aspect earning them their third bonus point win as well.

The game started in the first half with allot of mistakes from both sides and at some stages was close to become another boring Aussie derby.

Luckily the Rebels started to play some rugby in the second half with the Brumbies wondering what hit them.

It is clear that the Rebels will be a tough side to beat home or away.

Hurricanes 29 – 19 Crusaders

The Hurricanes came back from a three week tour to take a massive win against the Crusaders on Saturday.

They played the Saders off the field in that first half and although the Crusaders fought back in the second half it was just too much to get pass this brilliant performance from the Hurricanes.

The Crusaders sits with a massive list of injured players at the moment and it was never going to be easy for them away from home but they were outclass on the day by a brilliant Hurricanes side.

Jaguares 38 -28 Waratahs

The Jaguares claimed their first win of the Super Rugby season as they beat the Waratahs 38-28 at Estadio José Amalfitani on Saturday.

For the Sydney outfit this is their first defeat of 2018 which means they remain third in their Conference, behind the Rebels and Reds.

Jaguares were rampant right from the outset in Buenos Aires and scored from the Waratahs’ kick-off as they broke downfield and Emiliano Boffelli finished off in the corner.

It was good to see the Argentinians playing some positive rugby which also means winning rugby, hope they stick with it.

Next week is Round 5 and this is what we can look forward to….

16 Chiefs v Bulls 08:35
17 Highlanders v Crusaders 08:35
17 Brumbies v Sharks 10:45
17 Stormers v Blues 15:05
17 Lions v Sunwolves 17:15
17 Jaguares v Reds 23:40
18 Waratahs v Rebels 07:05

Blues surprise Lions in Johannesburg

1

The Blues surprise the Lions on Saturday as they fought back in the second half to take an impressive win on Saturday with 38-35

As we got used to in the past two years the Lions did not take long to get on the scoreboard as Cronje gave a moster pass to send Mahuza over for the Lions first try.

This came after an unusual knock from Williams which gave the Lions a 7-0 lead after just 2 minutes in the game.

The Blues came back nicely into the game playing in the Lions half of the field and only the Lions defence kept them from scoring.

With the Blues again on attack the Lions intercept a pass to send Rohan Janse van Rensburg over after Jantjies send him on his way.

This gave the Lions a 14-0 lead.

Some concern for Lions came when Warren Whiteley picked up which looked like a knee injury and force him off the field.

The Lions had the better of the ball and territory as they started to dominate the set pieces and it was from some great scrums that they got Jantjies over for their third try.

A mistake just before halftime by the Lions on the ground gave the Blues the opportunity to get their first try and the teams went into the break with the Lions leading 21-10.

Although the second half did not start the Lions way Aphiwe Dyantyi took it upone himself to get over for their first of the second half.

The game opened up with the Blues taking advantage of the Lions mistakes with Ioane scoring two quick tries to make it a 28-24 game with ten minutes to go.

The Lions found their mark again with another power try from their forwards, but the Blues got one back through a mistake from the Lions to make it 35-31 with minutes to go.

With the Blues on attack the Blues kept coming and after the hooter scored their fifth try to take steal the win at the death.

The Lions will be very upset as they let the Blues back into the game with some ordinary mistakes which we are not used to from them.

At the end the Blues deserve the win 38-35 as their first win of the season.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Lions Lions 35 38 Blues Blues

Scorers:

Lions

 

Tries – Dylan Smith(73′) Aphiwe Dyantyi(55′) Elton Jantjies(37′) Rohan Janse van rensburg(15′) Sylvian Mahuza(2′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Elton Jantjies(74′) Elton Jantjies(56′) Elton Jantjies(39′) Elton Jantjies(17′) Elton Jantjies(4′)

Blues

 

Tries – Murphy Taramai(80′) Jimmy Tupou(75′) Rieko Ioane(69′) Rieko Ioane(63′) Akira Ioane(39′)

Penalties – Bryn Gatland(22′)

Cons – Stephen Perofeta(81′) Stephen Perofeta(76′) Stephen Perofeta(70′) Stephen Perofeta(64′) Bryn Gatland(41′)

Sharks get 50 over Sunwolves

0

The Sharks made heavy work in the first half but eventually ran away with the game to get their first win of the season against the Sunwolves on Saturday.

It was at the end a 50-22 game for the Sharks which also secure them a bonus point.

Sharks got of to a good start against the Sunwolves as they dominated the early stages of the first half.

It was a penalty from Du Preez that put the first points on the board which followed by a good try by Mapimpi a few minutes later.

This gave the Sharks a 10-0 lead but then the errors started to come again which gave the Sunwolves the chance to put pressure on the Sharks.

After spending some time in the Sharks twenty-two the Sunwolves did went away with three points but it was Akker van der Merwe who did his magic down the line to score the Sharks second try.

The Sharks started to get more and more in the game and took control with some better play with ball in hand which led to Tera try just before halftime.

This gave the Sharks a 24-3 lead which they held until halftime.

The first half was good from Sharks but still so many mistakes on attack and senseless kicking in that first half.

The second half went a bit the way of the Sunwolves as they put pressure on the Sharks in their own half. They eventually got over in the corner to score their first try of the match.

The Sharks hot back immediately with a second try for Mapimpi in the corner which took the score to 29-8 after 50 min.

The Sharks got another try as they started to have more ball in hand and with less handling errors stretch their lead to 36-8.

The Sunwolves did not give up even if they were far behind on the scoreboard. They kept the pressure on the Sharks in their twenty-two and send Wimpie van der Walt over for their third try of the match.

The Sharks were starting to love the loose game that presented itself when Bosch saw some space and put a short kick which Nkosi picked up to get over for another try in the match.

The Sharks started to pull away with just a few minutes to go as Wright scored another for them from a mistake by the Sunwolves.

This gave the Sharks 50 up on the scoreboard.

The Sunwolves got one more try to take the final score to 50-22 for the Sharks as they got their first win of the season and also a bonus point.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Sharks Sharks 50 22  Sunwolves Sunwolves

Scorers:

Sharks

 

Tries – Cameron Wright(75′) Sibusiso Nkosi(68′) Jacques Vermeulen(55′) Makazole Mapimpi(49′) Lubabalo Mtembu(36′) Armand van der Merwe(29′) Makazole Mapimpi(9′)

Penalties – Robert du Preez(2′)

Cons – Curwin Bosch(76′) Robert du Preez(69′) Robert du Preez(56′) Robert du Preez(37′) Robert du Preez(30′) Robert du Preez(10′)

Sunwolves

 

Tries – Will Tupou(78′) Yutaka Nagare(59′) Lomano Lemeki(45′)

Penalties – Harumichi Tatekawa(25′)

Cons – Ryoto Nakamura(79′) Kotaro Matsushima(61′)

 

Bulls start tour with loss against Reds

3

Not the best game from the Bulls as they folded under pressure to give the Reds a 20-14 win on Saturday

The Bulls put some great pressure on the Reds as the Reds gave away a few silly penalties. It was from an attacking lineout which they setup Gelant try after 4 minutes.

This gave them a 7-0 lead early on.

The Reds yet again struggled with their handling in the early part of the first half when they did have the opportunity to attack.

The Reds started to find their way in the game playing in the Bulls half. They were starting to dominate the Bulls scrum and almost got over.

The Reds eventually got on the board with a penalty but some great work from Ismaiel send Warber over for the Bulls second try.

This gave the Bulls a 14-3 lead after 25 minutes in the first half.

The Reds finally got pass the Bulls defence as Ismaiel made a mistake in his defence to give the Reds their first try.

The teams went into the break with the Bulls leading 14-10.

The second half did not start well for the Bulls as they looked a bit confuse with ball in hand and made allot of mistakes on attack.

It was these mistakes that led to the Reds second try and the lead in the match just after halftime.

The Bulls really struggled to get momentum on attack in the second half with the Reds on the other hand getting all the ball.

With the game really going nowhere the Reds got another penalty over to extend their lead to 20-14.

The Bulls had a last chance to get over and steal the match but handling again let them down as they spill the ball to give the Reds the win 20—14.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Reds Reds 20 14  Bulls Bulls 

Reds

 

Tries – Aidan Toua(46′) Caleb Timu(36′)

Penalties – Jono Lance(76′) James Tuttle(24′)

Cons – James Tuttle(47′) James Tuttle(38′)

 Bulls

 

Tries – Andre Warner(25′) Warrick Gelant(5′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Handre Pollard(26′) Handre Pollard(6′)

Hurricanes outplayed Crusaders

0

The Hurricanes did not look like they have been traveling for three weeks as they outplayed the Crusaders in the first half to take the win 29-19 on Saturday.

The Crusaders was put under huge pressure at the start of the match and were the first to get on the board within 4 minutes.

That quickly went to 14-0 after some brilliant play from Jordie Barrett to send TJ Perenara over with a brilliant back-pass.

The Crusaders did not really knew what was hitting them as they also lost Crotty in the first few minutes due to a head injury.

The Crusaders also gave away allot of penalties giving the Hurricanes the ball and field possession.

The Crusaders also got on the board and at halftime the Hurricanes led 26-12.

The second half was a much tighter contest between the two top sides with the Crusaders having to play catch-up rugby.

Although much better second half from the Crusaders the Hurricanes defence was as good as their attack on the night and limited the Crusaders to 19 points and added another 3 to their score.

A home win for the Hurricanes against the defending champions was all they wanted and they got.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Hurricanes Hurricanes 29  19 Crusaders Crusaders

Scorers:

Hurricanes

 

Tries – Matt Proctor(32′) Ben Lam(22′) TJ Perenara(13′) Chris Eves(5′)

Penalties – Jordie Barrett(67′)

Cons – Beauden Barrett(24′) Beauden Barrett(15′) Beauden Barrett(5′)

Crusaders

 

Tries – Michael Alaalatoa(55′) Jordan Taufua(37′) Manasa Mataele(30′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Mitch Hunt(56′) Mitch Hunt(39′) Mitch Hunt(38′)

Stormers fall short yet again in quarter final

5

The game started with a high tempo with the Stormers having the territorial advantage but could not convert it into points.

They had enough chances but lost the ball too many times in contact which gave the Chiefs the chance to counter attack.

The defence from the Chiefs was good to start with and kept the Stormers out from scoring.

Stormers just made too many mistakes on attack and the Chiefs took their opportunities with the penalties to go into a 9-3 lead at the break.

It was the Stormers that scored first in the second half when captain Kolisi went over for the first try but the Chiefs still had a 9-8 lead after 45 min.

The Stormers made another error from the kick-off and the gave a penalty away which the Chiefs kicked to extend the lead to 12-8 after 50 min

Next points came for the Stormers from a penalty and reducing the score to one point.

With the score at 12-11 for the Chiefs the Stormers could not convert possession into points and also missed a kick at goal to take the lead with 10 minutes to go.

The Chiefs then put all the pressure on the Stormers and with a few phases they spread the ball wide to score in the corner.

This gave them a lead of 17-11 with 2 minutes to go and although they tried they could not get past the Chiefs defence.

With that the Chiefs took the final semi-final spot and will have to play the Crusaders next week

This was a game of missed opportunities for the Stormers and we did not see anything from their back three which we expected.

Scorers:

Stormers 11 (3)

Try: Siya Koklisi

Penalties: SP Marais (2)

Chiefs 17 (9)

Try: Shaun Stevenson

Penalties: Damian McKenzie (4)

 

Combrinck penalty snatch game against Sharks

5

It was a long range penalty from Combrinck that stole the game from the Sharks as the Lions beat the Sharks 23-21 on Saturday

The first half the Lions did all the play but were behind on the scoreboard came halftime.

The Sharks played play-off rugby and the Lions tried to play presentence rugby which is fine when you have supporting players running lines but not with the defence the Sharks have come into this game.

The Lions had plenty of opportunities in the start of the match but decided to go for lineouts rather than to go for points.

Brilliant defence from the Sharks just kept the Lions attacking ability in a wrap and they looked average to say the least.

Plenty of mistakes from the Lions on attack also did not help and they need to step up their defence.

The Lions got a penalty over eventually but only after the Sharks scored the first try of the match from a mistake from the Lions and against the run of play.

Bosch added two penalties and a drop goal to hand them a 14-3 lead and in control of the match.

The second half stated the same as the first with the Lions with all the pressure and the Sharks with all the defence that kept them out.

It was a yellow card that changed the game when Lewies was send to the bin for 10 minutes and the Lions scored two quick tries first Mostert and then Kriel.

Jantjies still had an awful time with the boot and kept on missing kicks.

After sixty minutes, the Sharks still led by 14-13.

The game was on a knife edge and it stayed like that till the end of the match. It was tries and a penalty that put the Sharks back in front after a Mapoe try.

With minutes to go the Sharks were still 21-20 ahead and then came Combrinck to kick a 56-meter penalty for the lead that gave them the win.

This was too close to comfort for the Lions and they left to many points on the field with Jantjies missing almost all his kick at goal.

At the end the penalty separated the two teams and it is the Lions going forward.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: Mostert, Kriel, Mapoe
Con: Janjies
Pens: Jantjies, Combrinck
Yellow Card: Mostert

For Sharks:
Tries: Van Wyk, D du Preez
Con: Bosch
Pens: Bosch 2
Drop Goal: Bosch
Yellow Card: Lewies

Saders took good for Highlanders in wet

0

The Crusaders advanced to the Super Rugby semi-finals with a 17-0 victory over the Highlanders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday.

Tries from Joe Moody and Codie Taylor proved too much for the Highlanders who went scoreless.

A state of emergency had been declared in Christchurch and Otago due to flooding. This meant the Highlanders were not able to fly out to Christchurch on Friday as their plane was grounded. Instead, they only arrived at 13:30pm on Saturday which must have affected their pre-match preparations.

It was a match played in extremely wet and cold conditions and both sides had to adapt their usual attacking tactics for a tighter, more controlled game.

The result means the Crusaders continue their excellent playoff record in which they have never lost a home playoff match over 16 games.

The Crusaders adjusted to the conditions better and completely dominated possession and territory. They kept hold of the ball well despite the difficult conditions whereas the Highlanders could not and often kicked possession away cheaply.

The Highlanders were forced to make a slew of tackles and had already made 100 tackles after 50 minutes compared to the Crusaders’ 38. This is simply because the Crusaders’ ball retention was far superior.

Also, the Highlanders were guilty of indiscipline, giving away seven penalties compared to the Crusaders’ two in the first-half. The second half was different and saw no penalties conceded in minutes 40-60.

It is not often the Highlanders are kept to zero, which is a combination of how good the Crusaders were and the conditions.

The Highlanders were dealt an early blow when Liam Squire was yellow-carded for a reckless tackle with five minutes gone on the clock. Richie Mo’unga put the Crusaders into a 3-0 lead from the resulting penalty.

The away side were guilty of more indiscipline but this time Mo’unga let them off the hook as he missed a routine penalty.

The wet conditions meant points were going to be at a premium with both sides opting for poles when on offer. Unfortunately, Mo’unga was having difficulty planting his standing foot on the slippery surface and missed a second successive penalty.

From the next penalty, the Crusaders opted for touch five metres out instead of pointing to the poles. After some patient, controlled carrying around the fringes, Moody eventually burst over after 15 phases vindicating his decision not to take the three points. Mo’unga added the extras to extend the Crusaders’ lead to 10-0.

Three minutes before half-time, a Crusaders try was controversially ruled out when their unstoppable driving maul crashed over the line but the TMO ruled that it had been held up.

However, the Crusaders were not going to be denied their try. From the resulting five-metre scrum, they once again patiently worked the ball around the fringes through their big forwards. This time hooker Taylor burrowed over. Mo’unga converted the try as the home side took a 17-0 lead into the half-time break.

Both sides did well to repel each other in the second-half but offered little on attack. In fact, no points were scored in the second stanza despite the Highlanders’ efforts to run the ball.

They kept trying until the end but in the terrible conditions it always looked an impossible task to come from so far behind and win, especially against a Crusaders defence that refused to break in what was an impressive victory.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Moody, Taylor
Cons: Mo’unga 2
Pen: Mo’unga

Hurricanes struggle but get past Brumbies

0

The Hurricanes had to work hard in the second half to get pass a much improved Brumbies side when they beat them eventually 35-16 on Friday.

The Brumbies had the best start they had all season and took the lead through a great try at the start of the match. They were unable to convert the try and went 5-0 ahead which shocked the Hurricanes and their supporters.

It took not long for the Hurricanes to hit back with a try of their own when Goosen got over for their first try. The conversion was also missed and the scores were level at 5 all.

The Brumbies took the lead again through a penalty after they put huge pressure on the champions and the Hurricanes struggled to get going.

With a lead of 8-5 the Brumbies scored their second try of the match and got to a 13-5 lead which was deserving for the work they did in that first part of the first half.

The Hurricanes got a lucky bounce of the head and Barrett jumped on the ball to score their first try. This gave the Brumbies only a 1 point lead but quickly extend it to 16-12 with another penalty.

Just before halftime the Hurricanes got a penalty over themselves and they went into the break 16-15 for the Brumbies.

The second half was all Hurricanes but the Brumbies defence was absolutist brilliant and they frustrated the Hurricanes who put waves of attack on them throughout that second half.

The Hurricanes made too many mistakes due to the excellent defensive effort from Brumbies but did score next with  Perenara that got his try and they finished it off with another try for Wes Goosen.

It was not easy but in playoff matches all that matters is to win by any means and that is just what the defending champions did and they will have to wait and see who they will play next week between the Lions and Sharks.

Scorers:

Brumbies

Tries: James Dargaville, Josh Mann-Rea

Penalties: Wharenui Hawera (2)

Hurricanes

Tries: Wes Goosen (2), Jordie Barrett, TJ Perenara

Conversions: Jordie Barrett (2)

Penalties: Jordie Barrett (3)

Lions demolish Sunwolves in Johannesburg

11

The Lions took another step closer to get that home final when they demolish the Sunwolves on Saturday 94-7.

With the Lions picking their strongest possible side for this game one expected them to dominate play and the scoreline and that is exactly what they did from the start.

They scored five tries in the first half all off them converted by Jantjies to give them a 35-0 lead at the break.

The Sunwolves had no answer in the first half for the power and speed the Lions came at them and the tackling was poor to say the least.

The Lions dominated all aspects of the game in that first half from the scrums, lineouts to the breakdowns and where good enough to keep the Sunwolves scoreless in that first forty minutes.

If one though the first half was bad for the Sunwolves then the second was a massacre as they Lions ended up with 14 tries with only 1 that was scored by the Sunwolves.

They were totally outplayed and not in the same class to be honest. Serious questions on the thinking of SANZAAR to keep a team like the Sunwolves but want to send the Southern Kings, Cheetahs and ether Force or Rebels pacing.

They are not even close to be competitive in this competition and it is a shame that SANZAAR allows a mediocre side like them stay in this premier competition.

The Lions are well on their way to put their name in the hat for the title this year and will have a bye next week to take the Sharks on in their last match of the season in two weeks.

Scorers:

Lions:

Tries: Cronje, Smith 2, Kriel 2, Jantjies, Van der Merwe, Combrinck 3, Skosan, De Klerk, Mahuza, Ackermann

Conversions: Jantjies 6, Combrinck 5, De Klerk

 Sunwolves:

Try: Helu

Conversion: Ogura

 

 

Stormers beat Cheetahs ugly

2

The Stormers edge the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein from a scrappy game that saw the game end with two red cards 40-34.

The game started with both teams giving the ball air and running it down the field. It was the Stormers that scored the first try with brilliant backline move to send Kolbe over and the lead of 7-0 after just 4 minutes.

The Cheetahs answered the way they know best in scoring their first try from a scrum set five meters out often Stormers line.

This made the score 7 all after just 8 minutes.

Senatla made his appearance quickly onto the field with SP Marias injuring himself with Kolbe moving from wing to fullback.

The Stormers then started to take full control and played in the Cheetahs half where WIllemse showed his class and scored the Stormers next try.

It took not long before they got to 26-10 after just 32 minutes.

The Cheetahs had enough ball but made mistakes on attack which the Stormers took as opportunities.

A yellow card to Marais did not help the Cheetahs cause as well.

The Cheetahs did put the pressure back on the Stormers and while they were controlling things Elstadt got yet another yellow card this season.

The Cheetahs took the advantage of the one man extra in the pack and drove over for their second try of the match.

The teams went into the break with the Stormers leading 26-17.

The second half was much even between the two teams but it was again the Stormers to extend the lead and had a lead of 33-17.

A yellow card to Du Toit for a high tackle brought the Cheetahs back in the game and they scored immediately through Swart who powered over the line.

The Cheetahs scored twice while Du Toit was off and took the lead 34-33.

It cost all that is the Stormers to work for another try to take the lead back to 40-34 with minutes to go.

The game ended with two red cards which put a damper on the end result but a win for the Stormers.

Scorers:

STORMERS

Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe(73′) Cheslin Kolbe(52′) Seabelo Senatla(31′) Cheslin Kolbe(28′) Damian Willemse(20′) Cheslin Kolbe(2′)

Penalties: Cheslin Kolbe(60′)

Cons: Cheslin Kolbe(75′) Cheslin Kolbe(53′) Cheslin Kolbe(29′) Cheslin Kolbe(21′) SP Marais(3′)

CHEETAHS

Tries: Raymond Rhule(61′) Clinton Swart(56′) Elandre Huggett(39′) Reniel Hugo(7′)

Penalties: Daniel Marais(48′) Daniel Marais(18′)

Cons: Daniel Marais(62′) Daniel Marais(57′) Daniel Marais(40′) Daniel Marais(8′)

 

Kings beat Jaguares in Buenes Aires

1

The Southern King got another victory this time against the Jaguares on Saturday morning when they beat them 31-30 in Buenes Aires.

 

Makazole Mapimpi crossed twice while Luzuko Vulindlu and Wandile Mjekevu also scored tries, with Lionel Cronje kicking 11 points.

What will make this defeat hurt more for the Jaguares is that they scored five tries – through Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Emiliano Boffelli, Nicolás Sánchez and Joaquín Tuculet (2) – but their goal-kicking percentage finished at 25.

There was only six points separating the sides at the break after a fast-paced first 40 minutes which saw the Jaguares cross three times. In reply the Kings went over twice as they once again proved they are a team on an upward curve this season under head coach Deon Davids.

The visitors came out in determined mood but their early pressure didn’t result in points, in fact they were lucky not to concede from a counter attack that was sparked by Jaguares centre Bautista Ezcurra. In the end scrumhalf Martín Landajo lost the ball on the try-line.

That breakout seemed to lift the Jaguares though and after a spell of pressure they went wide right to where the busy Tuculet found flank Leguizamón, who barged over. Sánchez missed with his difficult conversion attempt so it was a 0-5 advantage for the hosts on 17 minutes.

It did not last long as after Tuculet strayed offside, a kick to the corner led to centre Vulindlu crashing over off a short ball for 7-5.

Sánchez did restore his side’s lead on 26 minutes, but again the Kings responded, with Mapimpi racing over following quick hands for 14-8.

At this point it was end-to-end rugby so it was no surprise when Tuculet’s smart grubber found Boffelli on the left wing to make it 14-13.

The Jaguares weren’t done and when Sánchez cut back against the traffic towards a ruck, he slipped through weak tackling for a 14-20 lead.

Just two minutes after the break the Jaguares moved further ahead when Sánchez’s grubber saw Tuculet gather before going over for the try. However, four minutes later the Kings added a penalty via Cronje’s boot, which cut that buffer down to eight points at 17-25 to the hosts.

Sánchez was struggling off the tee in the game and was at a worrying success rate off 33 percent on 57 minutes after another penalty miss.

The Kings made the flyhalf pay two minutes later as Vulindlu combined with Mapimpi to send the wing over on the left. With Cronje cooly slotting the conversion, suddenly the South African franchise were just one point behind at 24-25 and had their tails up in Buenos Aires.

Joaquín Díaz Bonilla replaced Sánchez soon after but even he couldn’t add points to their tally, missing his first attempt on 63 minutes.

The match was seemingly there for the taking for the Kings and when Mjekevu raced over thanks to a lovely pull-back pass from scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer they had a six-point cushion with just eight minutes to play. The Jaguares needed to find something special at this point.

And they came agonisingly close to rescuing the four points on 75 minutes as a lovely Bonilla cross-kick found Tuculet wide out for the try. But it was perhaps fitting that a missed conversion cost the Jaguares the lead and victory on a dismal night for their goal-kickers.

 

Scorers

Jaguares

Tries: Leguizamón, Boffelli, Sánchez, Tuculet (2)
Conversion: Sánchez
Penalty: Sánchez

Kings:

Tries: Mapimpi (2), Vulindlu, Mjekevu
Conversions: Cronje (4)
Penalty: Cronje

 

 

thanks to

Gelant hat-trick sink Sharks in Durban

1

The Bulls outscored the Sharks to take their first win away from home when they beat them 30-17 on Friday night. Gelant scored a hat-trick of tries to sink the Sharks in the Shark-tank.

The Sharks and the Bulls started the return to Super Rugby after the June Internationals and kick off the last few rounds in Durban.

With the Sharks certain off a play-off spot and the Bulls just playing for pride it was a game to look forward to and more dangerous for the Sharks than the Bulls as the Bulls had nothing to lose.

Supporters from both side just wanted their sides to show some intend to run the ball and score tries and that is what the two teams tried to do on the night.

It was the Bulls with the better start showing a bit more in the first ten minutes of the match and scored the first try from a mistake from the Sharks at their own lineout.

This gave them a 5-0 early lead in the match.

The game then came to life with the Sharks replying with a try of their own through Thomas Du Toit. This gave them a 7-5 lead.

With the Sharks on the break-out the Bulls turned it around and score from the turnover to take back the lead 12-7 after 20 minutes.

The Bulls did not take long to extend the lead after a Sharks slotted a penalty over with Serfontein showing his class and sending his fullback over for the try.

The Sharks had their chances but Bulls defence hold them and some silly mistakes on attack prevent any points coming from it.

The Bulls kept the lead going into the break and great first half from the visitors.

The Sharks did not had a good start to the second half giving away allot of penalties and got a yellow card for repeated penalties against them.

The Bulls extend the lead with a penalty to 20-10.

It was the Sharks that scored against the run of play after they caught the Bulls asleep with a quick lineout to make the lead only 3 points.

Serfontein was again in the frame sending Gelant over for his third try of the match and a 10-point lead for the Bulls leading the Sharks 27-17 after 60 minutes.

The Bulls extend their lead to 30-17 with a penalty as both teams made more mistakes on attack.

The Bulls kept the lead till the end and got their first away win this season.

Jan Serfontein was again outstanding and my Man of the Match.

Scorers:

Sharks – Tries: Thomas du Toit, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Bosch (2). Penalty: Bosch.
Bulls – Tries: Nic de Jager, Warrrick Gelant (3). Conversion: Tian Schoeman (2). Penalties: Schoeman (2)

Hurricanes gets bonus point win over Force

0

The Hurricanes made it nine wins in a row against the Force with a 34-12 bonus-point victory at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday.

Hurricanes tries from Loni Uhila, Leni Apisai, Vince Aso, TJ Perenara and a Ngani Laumape brace proved too much for the Force, who scored through tries from Dane Haylett-Petty and Richard Hardwick.

The result means the Hurricanes consolidate second position in the New Zealand Conference as they edge closer to the play-offs while the Force miss an opportunity to go second in the Australian Conference and have been dealt another blow to their play-off hopes.

The Force, despite applying immense pressure on the Hurricanes try-line were denied time after time, as the away side managed to turn over the ball again and again. The Force should have had more points on the board as reward for their territorial dominance in the first-half.

But the ‘Canes showed what made them champions; an ability to mix attacking flair with a stingy uncompromising defence. This desperation on defence hasn’t been needed this season as they have blown teams out the water with their attack. Credit must go to the Force for bringing that out of the champions.

The result slightly flattered the Hurricanes who capitalised on their numerical advantage after a dubious yellow card was given to Dane Haylett-Petty.

The Hurricanes profited on an errant lineout from the Force to score the first try of the game. TJ Perenara pounced on the loose ball, and immediately gave the ball to Jordie Barrett who offloaded for Laumape who was not going to be stopped, all after just two minutes on the clock. Beauden Barrett converted.

Despite persistent pressure from the Force, the Hurricanes showed incredible defence on their own try-line in a game of physical attrition as both sides put their bodies on the line.

Despite the ‘Canes enjoying 13 percent of the territory in the first half, they scored their second after only spending a minute on the Force try-line. Uhila used his massive frame to bash over from close range with the try assist coming from TJ Perenara.

Shortly after the resumption of the second half, The Force responded with their first try of the game. After the Force won a lineout on the Hurricanes 22, Peter Grant kicked high and the bounce favoured Dane Haylett-Petty, who went over to score. Grant converted to bring the deficit back to seven.

A well-worked lineout set-piece move straight from the training ground saw substitute Apisai go over for the Hurricanes’ third try. Sam Lousi secured the lineout and the ball was switched blindside to Brad Shields which completely wrong-footed the Force defence and Apisai profited to crash over.

The Canes’ bonus-point try came from Super Rugby’s leading try-scorer Aso. Beauden Barrett decided to run it from his own line and then went wide to Perenara who sent a kick through. Aso was on hand to brilliantly collect the grubber and race through to cap off a brilliant counter-attack. Haylett-Petty was yellow-carded for cynical play and this cost the Force dearly as they conceded two tries in his absence.

Once again the Hurricanes ran it from their own line, Perenara kicking deep and although the Force regathered the ball, but threw an errant pass which Perenara picked up and dotted down.

Laumape bagged his brace as the ‘Canes scored their sixth – Nehe Milner-Skudder, his first game back from a prolonged lay-off, creating the try with a beautiful sidestep before running thirty metres and sending Laumape away.

For Force:
Tries: D Haylett-Petty, Hardwick
Con: Grant
Yellow Card: D Haylett-Petty

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Laumape 2, Uhila, Apisai, Aso, Perenara
Cons: B Barrett 2
Yellow Card: Laumape

Brumbies secure bonus point against Rebels

0

The Brumbies secured first place in the Australian Conference with a 32-3 bonus-point victory over the Rebels in Canberra on Saturday.

It was a game in which the wet conditions made handling of the ball difficult and resulted in a number of unforced errors.

Tries from Jordan Smiler, Tevita Kuridrani, Wharenui Hawera and Nigel Ah Wong proved too much for the Rebels who have now gone tryless in four of their last six games.

The result means the Brumbies have an unassailable lead at the top of the Australian Conference with 33 points while the Rebels remain rooted to the bottom of the table on eight points.

The home side showed good ball retention and enjoyed the majority of the possession in the game and are guaranteed a place in the Super Rugby play-offs.

Wharenui Hawera gave the Brumbies a 3-0 lead, just reward for the pressure they put on the Rebels in the opening quarter. Reece Hodge responded with a penalty for the Rebels in the 25th minute to level matters at 3-3 in a low-scoring opening to the game.

After the Rebels were penalised for offside, Hawera added another three from the tee on the half-hour mark to put the home side 6-3 up.

Soon after, the first try of the game went to the Brumbies. After Marika Koroibete was dispossessed near his goal line, the Brumbies launched a counter-attack and won a penalty for offside. Speight took it quickly, pushing the ball wide and Smiler went over unopposed in the corner five minutes before half-time.

After the break, the Brumbies continued to apply pressure and build on their momentum. After good work from Joe Powell to force a knock-on off Amanaki Mafi at the back of a Rebels defensive scrum, the Brumbies had the put in at a five-metre attacking scrum.

Kuridrani crashed over from first phase ball after a good flat pass from Powell. No one was going to stop the Kuridrani train from that distance.

The Brumbies’ third try came from their own attacking lineout and Powell was quick to go wide. Hawera scythed through a gap and showed good reach to dot down in the 57th minute. He converted his own try to put the score at 25-3 to the Brumbies.

The bonus-point try for the Brumbies came just before the hooter. Hodge and Koroibete took the ball deep inside Brumbies territory and again they conceded a penalty to turn it over.

The Brumbies then lost the lineout, but got the ball back after a knock-on, a grubber kick bounced nicely for the Brumbies and Ah Wong went over to score.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Tries: Smiler, Kuridrani, Hawera, Ah Wong
Cons: Hawera 3
Pens: Hawera 2

For Rebels:
Pen: Hodge

Saders keep unbeaten record with drop goal

0

Mitchell Hunt’s late drop goal secured a 25-22 win for the Crusaders over the Highlanders in a thrilling derby in Christchurch on Saturday.

As expected, this was an entertaining affair between two of the tournament’s in-form sides and the game was in the balance until the end before Hunt’s secured the result for his team with his snap-shot from 35 metres out with the final act of the match.

The result means the Crusaders have now won all 14 their matches in this year’s competition while it ends the Highlanders’ nine-match winnig streak.

Both sides deserve credit for making this the entertaining spectacle that it was although the Highlanders will be kicking themselves as they dominated for large periods especially during the second half.

The men from Dunedin had the bulk of the the possession during the first half but the Crusaders made better use of their chances and led 19-10 at the break thanks to tries from Mitchell Drummond, Seta Tamanivalu and Heiden Bedwell-Curtis with Richard Buckman crossing the whitewash for the Highlanders during this period.

The tournament’s pacesetters made a terrific start and scored their opening try as early as the third minute when Drummond rounded off several waves of attack after George Bridge, Richie Mo’Unga and Matt Todd were all stopped just short of the try-line in the build-up.

The Crusaders continued to attack and 10 minutes later they extended their lead when a superb line break from Ryan Crotty was rounded off by Seta Tamanivalu after gathering a perfectly-weighted long pass fom Jack Goodhue.

The Highlanders tried to take the Crusaders on at their own game but could not match the intensity and execution displayed by the seven-time champions during the opening quarter.

However, the Crusaders were dealt a blow in the 26th minute when Bedwell-Curtis received a yellow card for a cynical foul on defence, deep inside his 22, after referee Glen Jackson had given the home side several warnings for similar indiscretions before that.

Five minutes later, the Highlanders opened their account when Ben Smith joined the line inside the Crusaders’ 22 and offloaded to Buckman, who crossed for an easy five-pointer.

Marty Banks slotted the conversion and added a penalty in the 37th minute which meant the match was evenly poised with the Crusaders leading 12-10.

The Crusaders responed in style, however, and two minutes after returninig from his stint in the sin bin, Bedwell-Curtis ran onto an inside pass from Jack Goodhue before crossing for his side’s third try just before half-time.

The Highlanders came out firing in the second half and two minutes after the restart Aaron Smith crossed the whitewash but his effort was ruled out after television replays revealed that Rob Thompson stepped into touch in the build-up.

Five minutes later, Crotty lost the ball in contact and the Highlanders launched a counter attack with Malakai Fekitoa kicking into space and Bridge failed to gather. Waisake Naholo kicked ahead and beat the cover defence before diving onto the ball behind the Crusaders’ try-line.

Five minutes later, Naholo crossed for his second try after intercepting a long pass from Codie Taylor just inside the Crusaders half. That gave the visitors the lead for the first time and they continued to dominate for the rest of the half although – crucially – they could not extend their lead.

Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Crusaders did not panic and Hunt drew them level via a penalty in the 77th minute. The seven-time champions finished stronger and were awarded a penalty in the final minute which Hunt pushed wide of the posts.

Despite that missed opportunity, the Crusaders continued to attack and after taking the ball through 20 phases, the ball came out to Hunt who secured the result for his side with his stunning drop goal at the end.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries:
Drummond, Tamanivalu, Bedwill-Curtis
Cons: Mo’unga 2
Pen: Hunt
Drop goal: Hunt
Yellow Card: Bedwell-Curtis

For Highlanders:
Tries: Buckman, Naholo 2
Cons: Banks 2
Pen: Banks

Blues win against Reds

0

Stephen Perofeta’s late try was enough for the Blues to come out on top of a see-sawing encounter with the Reds, winning 34-29 in Apia.

The talented replacement number ten was the Blues’ fifth try-scorer on the night and for long periods Tana Umaga’s side looked the better team on the field, leading 20-12 at the break after tries from Rene Ranger, Rieko Ioane and Kara Pryor.

To their credit the Reds never gave up, their forward power creating four tries including two for Taniela ‘Tongan Thor’ Tupou as Quade Cooper’s boot kept them in the hunt.

But scores from lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and then Perofeta guaranteed a seventh win of the season for the Blues, who could have had more tries were it not for four on the night being ruled out by the officials.

In front of a disappointly low crowd in the Samoan capital due to ticket prices, those in attendance certainly enjoyed a tighter spectacle than many were predicting after the opening minutes.

It was a blistering start for the Blues, with Ranger stepping his way through the Reds’ defence all too easily after the Reds had been turned over at the scrum, scoring in the second minute.

The second score wasn’t far away either, TJ Faiane’s smart pass releasing Pryor before the final pass put Rieko Ioane over in the corner. Piers Francis couldn’t convert, but the Blues held a comfortable lead at 12-0.

The Reds needed a response, not helped by the loss of captain Samu Kerevi to an ankle injury, but tighthead prop Tupou scored his first try when he burrowed over from close-range.

A scrappy period of play followed before Pryor scored the Blues’ third try, going over off the back of a rolling maul.

To their credit the Reds responded swiftly, with hooker Andrew Ready in for Wallabies captian Stephen Moore powering his way over off the back of another effective driving maul from the Reds, one of their best weapons in recent weeks.

Cooper converted but it was Francis who had the final say of the first half, knocking over a long-range penalty to give the Blues a 20-12 advantage.

A rare three-pointer from Cooper kicked off the second half to put the Reds within range of the lead, and they grabbed it thanks to their third try of the match from replacement forward Adam Korczyk, Cooper banishing the memory of his early miss off the tee to land the conversion and make it 22-20.

In-form lock Cowley-Tuioti went over in response for the Blues, switching the lead back their way after Francis converted, but the Reds were making progress up front, Tupou showing off the power that made him a star at schoolboy level as the ‘Tongan Thor’ to grab a second try.

With that effort the Reds led 29-27, as the Blues had a third possible try of the match ruled out by the TMO, at the start of tense final ten minutes.

Having been the better side for most of the match a defeat would have been unthinkable for the Blues, and with seven minutes left they retook the lead once more through the highly-rated Perofeta on debut.

Melani Nanai was released into open space and despite coming up short of the line after backing himself to beat the last man, Perofeta was there in support for the score.

Perofeta converted his own score to give the Blues a 34-29 lead in the closing stages as the Blues ran down the clock, pleasing the local crowd, with the Reds unable to find the winning score.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Ranger, R Ioane, Pryor, Cowley-Tuioti, Perofeta
Cons: Francis, Perofeta 2
Pen: Francis

For Reds:
Tries: Tupou 2, Ready, Korczyk
Cons: Cooper 3
Pen: Cooper

14-man Lions get bonus point win over Kings

1

A 14-man Lions outfit continued their domination of the South African Group following a comfortable 54-10 triumph over the Kings.

Despite the loss of Robbie Coetzee for a knee to the head of Chris Cloete in the first half, the hosts scored eight tries as they easily dispatched their rivals.

Only two of those came before Coetzee’s recklessness, however, when Andries Ferreira and Courtnall Skosan touched down. Instead, the red card revitalised the Lions, who had lost their way after a positive start, with Kwagga Smith (twice), Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen, Faf de Klerk and Andries Coetzee completing the win.

Luzuko Vulindlu scored a consolation for the Africa 2 Conference’s bottom placed team but it was the hosts that went away with a tenth win in a row.

The Kings’ impressive resurgence had seen them secure three victories in succession before their home defeat to the Brumbies but, against the second best team in the competition, they were unable to make it four in five.

Without the excellent Lionel Cronjé at stand-off, the visitors struggled for continuity in the early stages and the Lions benefited from that front-foot ball.

Ackermann’s men dominated and proceeded to put the Port Elizabeth-based outfit under pressure at the maul. It eventually led to a yellow card for Irné Herbst and, without one of their crucial cogs in the lineout drive, the away side succumbed as Ferreira touched down.

In many respects, that score was atypical of the free-flowing hosts, but they soon displayed the full range of their capabilities by constructing a wonderful try.

Two mainstays of their side came to the fore when Elton Jantjies produced an inch-perfect cross-field kick for new Springbok captain Warren Whiteley to collect.

Whiteley had little time and space to work with but the number eight managed to get his off-load away to Skosan, who crossed the whitewash unopposed.

Pieter-Steyn de Wet then reduced the arrears for the Kings before a moment of stupidity from hooker Coetzee saw the Lions down to 14 men after his knee connected with Cloete’s head.

The flanker was also sent from the field, although he only received a yellow card for two separate offences leading up to Coetzee’s indiscretion.

That should have enabled the visitors a way back into the contest but Ackermann’s team dealt with the setback impeccably.

Tries for Smith and Marx either side of the interval effectively ended the match as a contest before excellent hands allowed Van Rooyen to touch down.

The Lions were rampant and a wonderful run by Marx gave Smith his second try. The replacement hooker went on a barnstorming charge down the right, off-loaded to Coetzee whose pass to the blindside allowed him to cross the line.

By this point only 55 minutes had elapsed but Vulindlu briefly stemmed the haemorrhaging by touching down for the Kings. However, the hosts had the final word via De Klerk and Coetzee as they went away with a dominant victory.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: 
Ferreira, Skosan, Smith 2, Marx, Van Rooyen, De Klerk, A Coetzee
Cons: Jantjies 5, A Coetzee 2
Red Card: R Coetzee

For Kings:
Try: 
Vulindlu
Con: De Wet
Pen: De Wet
Yellow Cards: Herbst, Cloete

Brumbies end tour with win over Jaguares

0

The Brumbies finished their tour in with another win this time over the Jaguares when they beat them 39-15 on Saturday night.

The men from Canberra were keen to build on last weekend’s win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth and were full value for their win, eventually outscoring their hosts by six tries to two.

An impressive first half performance laid the foundation to the Brumbies’ win with brace of tries from Tom Banks and another five-pointer from Sam Carter helping them to a 20-10 lead at half-time with the Jaguares’ only try of the half scored by Tomás Lavanini.

The home side’s discipline let them down badly and they committed a plethora of unforced errors which helped the Brumbies’ cause.

The Brumbies win extends their lead t the top of the Australian Conference table and they now have a nine-point lead over their closest rivals, the Waratahs.

Meanwhile, the Jaguares are still in third spot in the Africa 2 Conference standings, 18 points adrift of the second-placed Sharks.

The Jaguares took an early lead thanks to a third minute penalty from Nicolás Sánchez before the Brumbies struck back 10 minutes later when Sam Carter crossed for the opening try off a driving maul deep inside the home side’s 22.

The Jaguares did not take long to reply – Lavanini barging over from close quarters and with Sánchez off the field for a Head Injury Assessment, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias added the extras which gave the home side a narrow 8-7 lead by the 20th minute.

The rest of the halkf belonged to the Brumbies and Banks in particular as he crossed for two deserved tries during a five-minute period.

His firsr five-pointer came in the 25th minute when he joined the line at pace and gathered a pass from Wharenui Hawera before dotting down.

Shortly afterwards, Batista Ezcurra dropped a high ball close to his 10-metre line which Chris Alcock picked up. The flanker did well to deliver a perfectly-weighted chip kick which Banks gathered before diving over in the right-hand corner.

Just before half-time, the Jaguares suffered a further blow when their captain, Agustin Creevy, was yellow carded for cynical play on defence deep inside his half.

The second half came alive in the 56th minute when Joe Powell offloaded to Henry Speight, who burst through a gaping hole in the Jaguares’ defence before crossing for their fifth try.

The Brumbies continued to attack in the final quarter and two tries in quick succession from replacement back Andrew Muirhead sealed their win although the Jaguares added some respectabilty to the score when Guido Petti scored their second try shortly before full-time.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:
Tries:
Lavanini, Petti
Con: Iglesias
Pen: Sánchez
Yellow Card: Creevy

For Brumbies:
Tries:
Carter, Banks 2, Speight, Muirhead 2
Cons: Hawera 3
Pen: Hawera

Sharks to strong for Stormers

5

The Sharks got an important win against the Stormers on Saturday when they beat them 22-10

The Sharks was allover the Stormers in the first ten minutes of the match playing a running game putting the ball through the phases and gotten rewarded with a penalty and a try.

The Stormers did start to come back in the game and had a few opertunities but were held off the Sharks line with great defence.

With so much ball in the middl part of that first half the Stormers would have been very dissapointed not to get any points as the went into the last 10 minutes still with no score.

The Sharks were able to get back into the Stormers half and after stealing a Stormers lineout got the ball over the line for their second try and a lead at halftime of 15-0.

The Stormes got on the board in the 44 minute of the game after a penalty from SP Marais which made the Sharks lead 15-3.

The Stormers were also the first to score the first try of the second half and pulled the lead of the Sharks back to 15-10.

Nkosi then run straight through the Stormers backline as he socred the Sharks third try of the match and the lead of 22-10.

The Stormers were quickly back on attack but some brilliant defence from the Sharks kept themout of scoring a try.

The Stormers backline had so much ball but seemed to have no plan that just shifting the ball through the hands which the Sharks easily defended against.

The Sharks at the end were just to good on the night and had an important win over the Stormers.

Scorers:

Sharks – Tries: Johan Deysel. Stephan Lewis, S’bu Nkosi. Conversions: Garth April (2). Penalty: April.
Stormers – Try: SP Marais. Conversion: Marais. Penalty: SP Marais.

Hurricanes secure bonus point win against Bulls

0

The Hurricanes secured a bonus point win at Loftus on Saterday when they beat the Bulls 34-20.

The Bulls had the worst start to the match they could have imagen with Barrett splitting their defence to score under the poles for the first try of the match and a lead of 7-0.

The Bulls did not look bad on attack and a perfect chip kick was gather by Duncan Matthews on debut to score the Bulls first try and level the score at 7 all.

The Bulls had chances in the Hurricanes twenty-two but poor passing left them shy of scoring another try.

The Hurricanes again from a set-piece split the Bulls defence and scored an easy try to take the lead 14-7 after 20 min.

The Bulls slotted over a few penalties to take their score to 13, trailing just with 1 point but that was short lived with the Hurricanes scoring their third try.

The end of the half was a disappointment for the Bulls with them on attack giving the ball away and the Hurricanes working their way down the field and score in injury time to take a 24-13 lead.

The first 17 minutes of the second half was hard to watch as both teams made too many mistakes and could not get phases together for extended periods of time.

It was the Hurricanes that scored first with a penalty in the 58 min to take the lead to 27-13. The Hurricanes quickly extend the lead with yet another try from broken play.

The Bulls had so much possession and territory but could not turned it into points as their attack look average to say the least.

The Bulls did get over the Hurricanes line after 77 min and pulled the score back a bit with the Hurricanes lead only 34-20.

At the end the Hurricanes took the win with a much-needed bonus point as well.

The scorers:

For Bulls: 
Tries: 
Matthews, De Jager
Cons: Schoeman, Jantjies
Pens: Schoeman 2

For Hurricanes:
Tries:
 Barrett, Laumape, Goosen, Abbott, Apisai
Cons: Black 2, Barrett
Pen: Black

Bonus point win for unbeaten Crusaders over Rebels

0

The unbeaten Crusaders marched on with yet another bonus point win over the Rebels on Saturday when they beat them comfortably 41-19.

No one really expect anything else than a huge win for the Crusaders against a struggeling Rebels side even if they were playing at home.

The Crusaders were first to put points on the board with a penalty but quickly turned that into a 10 point lead with the first try of the match.

They did not had it all their own way as the Rebels did held them with some desperate defence but with a man down the Crusaders got over for their second and the lad of 17-0 after 27 min.

Defending against Crusaders with 15 men is difficult enough so one would expect an onslaught when you have a man down.

The Crusaders scored their third try to take the score 24-0 after 31 min.

The Rebels got their first points on the board after a great try from the lineout to close the gap to 24-7 after 34 min.

The Crusaders quickly hit back and scored their forth try with great hands between forwards and backs and extend the lead again this time to 31-7 after 37 min.

This was also the score at the break.

The second half started well for the Rebels as they scored their second try and reduced the lead again this time to 31-14.

The Crusaders did not have to wait long for their first of the second half and extend the lead to 36-14 after 46 min.

The Rebels were next to score after a turnaround in their own half and scored a brilliant try. This mad ethe Crusaders lead only 36-19 after 60 min.

Tries were coming think and fast with the Crusaders getting another to take the lead to 41-19.

The scores stayed at that as both teams were not able to add any more points but it was yet another bonus point win for the Crusaders, still unbeaten.

Scorers:

Rebels 19 (7)

Tries: Marika Koroibete (2), Toby Smith

Conversions: Ben Volavola, Reece Hodge

Crusaders 41 (31)

Tries: Manasa Mataele, Jed Brown (2), Seta Tamanivalu, David Havili, Mitchell Drummond

Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (4)

Penalty: Mo’unga

Highlanders second half to good for Waratahs

0

The Highlanders ran away with the game in second half to take a crucial win against Waratahs at home when they beat them 44-28.

The Waratahs came of a great win last week against the Rebels and they were looking to take the momentum forward to this weekends match against the Highlanders.

At home the Highlanders are no pushover but and they showed that with putting the first points on the board and the first try of the match.

That gave them a 10-0 lead although there was some questions about that first try.

The Waratahs looked good with ball in hand throughout that frist half and took not long to break the Highlanders defence and scored their first try and points.

This made the lead for the Highlanders 10-7. Both teams had chances at the end of the half to score more points but it was the Waratahs that ended the strongerst with a try at the end of the half.

This gave them a 14-13 lead going into the break.

The Second half started with both teams running the ball at all opertunities and play going from end to end in the first 10 minutes of the half.

The Waratahs then lost a player to the bin for lifting a players feet and gave the Highlanders the chance to kick for the lineout and drive over for their second try.

This gave them the lead back 18-14 after 50 min.

With one man down the Waratahs were put under huge pressure and the Highlanders speed up the game to tae advantage of the extra man.

They scored their third try with the perfect kick and strecth the lead to 23-14 after 52 min.

The game stood a bit still for the next 15 minutes as the teams tried very hard to break each others defence.

The Highlanders were next to score and made their lead 30-14 but this was short lived with the Waratahs scoring one of their own and giving them a slimmer of a hope.

With the scores at 30-21 one would have think it would  be a close finish but the Highlanders had other ideas and scored two quick tries to quickly take the score to 44-21 a fter 75 min.

The Waratahs got a peanlty from a scrum and took it quickly to score their third try of the match and reduced the lead of the Highlanders to 44-28.

Scorers:

Highlanders 44 (13)

Tries: Richard Buckman, Liam Coltman, Tevita Li, Rob Thompson, Dan Lienert-Brown, Lima Sopoaga

Conversions: Marty Banks, Lima Sopoaga (3)

Penalties: Banks (2)

Waratahs 28 (14)

Tries: Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Jake Gordon (2)

Conversions: Bernard Foley (4)

Cheetahs break losing streak in Tokyo

0

The Cheetahs broke their losing streak on Saturday when they beat the Sunwolves 47-7 on Tokyo.

The Cheetahs ran in a good few tries from Uzair Cassiem, Niel Jordaan, Niel Marais, Torsten Jaarsveld, Tian Meyer and Sergeal Petersen while the Sunwolves’ solitary try came from Sam Wykes.

It was good to see the Cheetahs dominating upfront which won them the game with great play from the strongmen for the Cheetahs.

For the Sunwolves it was the same old story where they just could not keep up with the tempo of the game and ran out of steam in the second half as well.

With an average of over 40 points per game the Sunwolves season is going downwards quickly and the much expected improvement not looking likely with just a few games to go.

The Cheetahs dominated the possession in the match and were good for the 14-0 lead at halftime.

After the break the Cheetahs scored a magnificent team try immediately after the resumption of the second-half. The Sunwolves kicked off and Petersen collected the ball. Petersen, Rhaymond Rhule and Clayton Blommetjies were all involved with some beautiful running and offloads as the ball found its way to Marais who capped off a wonderfully crafted move.

The Sunwolves showed some character to bounce back when they took the ball through six phases with good tight build-up from their forwards. Captain Wykes profited off a missed tackle to run over unopposed and dot down. Fly-half Yu Tamura added the extras to cut the deficit to 12 at 19-7.

In response the Cheetahs secured a lineout through Oupa Mohoje before taking the ball through seven phases. Once again, it was Cassiem who found himself in space on the right wing to dot down. That gave them a 26-7  lead in the 66th minute.

A few minutes later Van Jaarsveld got over after a superb line break from the industrious Jordaan, he offloaded off the ground and Jordaan burst over as the Sunwolves were powerless to stop a man of that size with that momentum. Marais added two as the Cheetahs made it 33-7.

The Cheetahs got their sixth try of the match with Van Jaarsveld creating a break and good work from Cassiem sent Meyer away to score.

After a great scrum for the forwards, it was good work from Blommetjies as he put the ball on the boot. Petersen showed searing pace to collect the ball and dot down. Francois Uys, a loose forward, kicked a great comversion from the touchline as the match ended 47-7.

This was a good way for the Cheetahs to end a horrible tour.

The scorers:

For Sunwolves:
Try: Wykes
Con: Tamura

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Cassiem 2, Jordaan, Marais, Van Jaarsveld, Meyer, Petersen
Cons: Marais 5, Uys

Force beat Reds in Brisbane

0

The Force took a step forward with a good away win against the Reds on Friday when they beat them 40-26.

Every week we hope we will see more from the Australians but the first half was again dominated by handling errors, bad decision making and penalties as the Force and the Reds struggled against each other.

The Reds showed some great prosprect with ball in hand at first but just too many mistakes stopped their chances of scoring tries.

They were the first to put points on the ball with a great try in the corner with Cooper showing glipses of his magic.

This gave them a 5-0 lead but not much more in that first thrity minutes.

The Force were not playing well at all and the few chances they did get were not taken. They did manage a penalty to make the lead only 5-3.

The Force slowly got back into the game through mistakes by the Reds and took full advantage of that and scored their first try just before the break to take the lead to 13-5.

The second half saw a bit more action and some more tries with the Reds scoring two second half tries and the Force with one.

The Reds kept giving away points with penalties and after 55 min the Force were leading 23-19.

The two teams both started to ran the ball more and scored some tries a piece frirst the Reds through Moore and then the Force came back with one of their own to take a lead of 30-26 after 64 min.

The Force kept scoring and the Reds kept on making mistakes that cost them points.

With the game drawing to a close the Force scored another try and kicked a penalty to end with a great away win of 40-26.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Paia’aua, L Tui, Moore 2
Cons: Cooper 3
Yellow Cards: Frisby, Nabuli

For Force:
Tries: Haylett-Petty, Penalty try, Brache, Polota-Nau
Cons: Grant 3
Pens: Grant 4

Blues, Chiefs shares the spoils in 16 all draw

0

The Blues and the Chiefs shared the spoils on Friday when they played to a 16 all draw.

A hard match we witness between the Blues and Chiefs on Friday with both teams having to adjust to the rain that came down.

The first half was very even as both teams had almost the same stats on possession and territory and it was the Blues that pulled away somewhat with the first try of the match in the 30th minute.

They took a nice lead of 10-3 and were able to extend that to 13-3 with a few minutes to go.

The Chiefs had a great try through Damian McKenzie who took a big hole in the Blues defence just before halftime to make the score 13-8 at the break.

The second half stated with the Blues extending the lead to 16-8 with a penalty. They game did become scrappy with the rain pouring down.

The Chiefs had a great try from a turnover to make the scores level at 16 all with just 15 minutes to go and both teams throwing everything at each other.

Both teams had opportunities to score in the final few minutes of the game but the weather was the ultimate winner at the end.

Just too many handling errors forced them to take home only a draw.

This is not a great result for the Chiefs nor the Blues as you look at the New Zealand logs and allot of demanding work for both teams to make sure they get to the play-offs.

Both teams will get two log points for the draw.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Try: R Ioane
Con: Francis
Pens: Francis 3

For Chiefs:
Tries: McKenzie, Faauli
Pens: McKenzie, Cruden

Tahs put 50 past Rebels

0

The Waratahs moved up to second spot in the Australian Conference after they beat the Rebels 50-23 at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Nick Phipps, Dean Mumm, Ned Hanigan, Israel Folau (2), Michael Hooper, Damien Fitzpatrick and Bryce Hegarty’s tries sealed the maximum.

Amanaki Mafi and Jonah Placid (2) crossed for the Rebels, who remain on just one win this season, with only the Sunwolves on fewer points.

The ‘Tahs led 24-11 at the break and had the bonus point next to their name after scoring tries through Phipps, Mumm, Hanigan and Folau.

Not helping the Rebels’ cause was the sight of centre and captain Reece Hodge being stretchered off after just two minutes after he made a tackle on Folau. That was a blow to not just their midfield attacking options but also long-range goal-kicking as Sione Tuipulotu came on.

Four minutes later it was the Rebels who edged ahead via Volavola’s boot, but the Waratahs responded soon after when Foley’s run after good hands from Sekope Kepu and Tom Robertson led to the fly-half finding Phipps on his shoulder who crossed. Foley added the conversion.

7-3 became 7-6 on 11 minutes thanks to a Volavola penalty and there were several more offences from the ‘Tahs that followed, ultimately leading to hooker Tolu Latu being sent to the sin-bin for going off his feet. Referee Angus Gardner had no option as they had been warned.

The Rebels capitalised quickly when Mafi crossed from a quick tap to move 7-11 in front, with Volavola hitting the upright with his extras.

Fortunately for the Waratahs their discipline improved and on 31 minutes recycled ball went left to where Mumm finished off well for 12-11.

More joy was to come before the break too as quick hands found Hanigan for a run-in and then Taqele Naiyaravoro’s power led to Folau galloping over the whitewash. Suddenly the Waratahs had themselves a 13-point cushion which seemed highly unlikely after the first quarter.

The Rebels were forced to make a change at the break and it paid off on 49 minutes as Placid crossed wide out to cut the gap to seven.

That sparked both teams trading blows on the scoreboard as first the Waratahs hit back five minutes later when full-back Folau reached out for his second try of the game before Placid got his own double on the hour mark following a break from Mafi. That meant it was 29-23.

However, that was a close as the Rebels came as a lovely handling move down the left channel saw Hooper score for the ‘Tahs before hooker Fitzpatrick made it 43-23 with a try on 73 minutes and then Hegarty crossed late to put the seal on just their fourth win of the campaign.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Phipps, Mumm, Hanigan, Folau 2, Hooper, Fitzpatrick, Hegarty
Cons: Foley 5
Yellow Cards: Latu, Foley

For Rebels:
Tries: Mafi, Placid 2
Con: Volavola
Pens: Volavola 2

Thanks to 

Brumbies tame Kings

0

The Brumbies got the job done but were made to work very hard before securing a 19-10 victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The result is a momentous one for the two-time champions as it is the first time an Australian side wins a match in South Africa this year and it also ends the Kings’ three-match winning streak.

In a tight tussle, in which the result was in the balance until late in the final quarter, the Brumbies eventually got the rub of the green and outscored their hosts by three tries to one.

The Brumbies controlled the possession and territorial stakes but they could not capitalise on that dominance and squandered several point-scoring opportunities especially during the first half.

The Kings led 10-5 at the interval thanks to a penalty try and a Lionel Cronje penalty and the Brumbies’ only points of the half came courtesy of a Josh Mann-Rea try.

The result means the Brumbies extend their lead at the top of the Australian Conference standings while the Kings are still at the bottom of the Africa 2 Conference table.

The home side were fastest out of the blocks and were awarded their penalty try as early as the fourth minute.

This came after Makazole Mapimpi did well to kick the ball ahead and just before regathering in front of the Brumbies try-line, he was tackled by Tom Banks who was also yellow carded for his indiscretion.

The Kings continued to dominate and extended their lead in the 17th minute via Cronje’s penalty. But they suffered a setback shortly afterwards when Ross Geldenhuys was yellow carded for a cynical infringement on defence close to his try-line.

Two minutes later, the Brumbies reduced the deficit when Mann-Rea crashed over for their opening try from a line-out drive deep inside the Kings’ 22.

The Brumbies upped the ante on attack after that score and two minutes before half-time Rory Arnold crossed the whitewash but his effort was disallowed after television replays revealed that Sam Carter’s final pass was forward.

The second half was an attritional affair and although both sides tried gallantly to gain the upperhand, we had to wait until the 64th minute for the first points of the half.

This came when Aidan Tou gathered a Joe Powell grubber kick superbly before diving over the whitewash. Wharenui Hawera added the extras which meant the Brumbies held the lead for the first time with the score at 12-10.

The men from Canberra continued to attack in the game’s closing stages and their efforts were rewarded in the 70th minute when Tevita Kuridrani stabbed through a teasing grubber kick before Banks grounded the ball behind the home side’s try-line.

The Kings tried gallantly to reduce the deficit but were kept at bay by a resilient defensive effort from their visitors.

The scorers:

For Kings:
Try:
Penalty Try
Pen: Cronje
Yellow Card: Geldenhuys

For Brumbies:
Tries:
Mann-Rea, Toua, Banks
Cons: Hawera 2
Yellow Card: Banks

Thanks to

 

Lions make statement against Bulls

3

The Lions made a statement of intent when they beat the Bulls 51-14 in their South African derby in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The home side were full value for their win and their free-flowing and fast paced style of play proved a real handful for the Bulls and the Lions eventually outscored their visitors by seven tries to two.

The Lions were superb in the opening half and a brace of tries from Ruan Combrinck and further five-pointers from Kwagga Smith, Ruan Dreyer and Warren Whiteley as well as excellent goalkicking from Elton Jantjies gave them a 39-14 lead at half-time, with the visitors’ points registered via converted tries by Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel.

The result means the Lions consolidate their position at the top of the Africa Conference 2 table while the Bulls are still second in the Africa Conference 1 standings albeit way off the pace set by the Stormers.

The Lions were forced into a late change when Sylvain Mahuza was forced to withdraw due to injury but his replacement, Combrinck, made an immediate impact when he scored the game’s opening try as early as the second minute.

The Springbok flyer ran onto a Andries Coetzee pass, midway between the halfway mark and the Bulls’ 22, and delivered a chip kick over the head of Kriel before regathering and diving over.

It did not take long for the visitors to respond and they did so in style when Francois Brummer threw an inside pass to debutant Sibahle Maxwane who beat a couple of defenders before offloading to Serfontein who scored under the posts.

Jantjies added two penalties which meant the Lions led 13-7 midway through the half but the hosts soon doubled their lead courtesy of impressive tries from Smith and Dreyer.

The latter one was particularly impressive as the burly prop showed the cover defence a clean pair of heels after running onto a fine pass from Franco Mostert on the edge of the Bulls’ 22.

The Bulls appeared shellshocked by that opening salvo from the home side but to their credit they struck back via a try by Kriel, who shrugged of challenges from Courtnall Skosan and Smith before powering his way over the try-line.

The Lions struck back on the half-hour mark when Whiteley charged down an attempted clearance kick from Rudy Paige – at a lineout close to the Bulls’ tryline – before diving onto the ball as it rolled over the whitewash.

On the stroke of half-time, Combrinck got over for his second try after stepping past a couple of defenders deep inside the Bulls’ 22 and with the score 39-14, the Lions were in control of proceedings as the teams changed ends at the interval.

The second half was a more subdued affair although the hosts increased their lead three minutes after the restart when Franco Mostert got over for their sixth try.

This after Skosan gathered an inch perfect crossfield kick from Jantjies before offloading to Malcolm Marx who managed to free his arms to get a pass out Whiteley who was stopped just short of the tryline.

The ball was recycled quickly, however, and Mostert barged over from close quarters.

The rest of the half saw plenty of end-to-end action as both sides ran from all areas of the field but both sides battled to score further points.

Just before full-time, the Lions launched one last attack and Lionel Mapoe rounded off a flowing move which Jantjies converted to add the final nail to the Bulls’ coffin.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries:
Combrinck 2, Smith, Dreyer, Whiteley, Mostert, Mapoe
Cons: Jantjies 5
Pens: Jantjies 2

For Bulls:
Tries:
Serfontein, Kriel
Cons: Brummer 2

Thanks to

Highlanders to good for Force

0

The Highlanders recorded the biggest ever win in their Super Rugby history with 55-6 victory over the Force in Perth on Saturday.

The result represents their highest ever points total outside of New Zealand and means the Highlanders move within two points of the third-placed Chiefs in the New Zealand Conference.

The Highlanders are now on 41 points with the Chiefs and Hurricanes on 43 points but the latter leading because of a superior points difference.

Tries from Tevita Li, Patrick Osborne, Rob Thompson (2), Dillon Hunt, Richard Buckman and Aki Seiuli (2) for the Highlanders meant the Force missed a chance to jump to second on the Australia Conference.

It was a solid performance from the away side and shows their strength in depth as they left Aaron Smith, Waisake Naholo and a fit-again Lima Sopoaga out of the starting lineup.

It is their sixth win in a row against Australian opposition and the Aussie sides have still failed to win against a New Zealand outfit in Super Rugby this season.

The Highlanders have now made it eight wins in a row and are miles ahead of the competition along with the other New Zealand sides barring the Blues.

Li definitely looked as if he had something to prove and was keen to involve himself by coming off the right wing, enjoying a good game in place of the suspended Naholo.

Marty Banks, as usual, gave a masterclass in kicking from the tee while the Highlanders ran in seven tries to the Force’s nil.

It was a cagey opening twenty minutes as both sides kept it tight. A Banks penalty was the only real action of the first quarter.

But the Highlanders began to assert their dominance more and more. Good hands from Malakai Fekitoa and Matt Faddes created the space for Li on the right wing to dot down. Banks converted to make the score 10-0 in the Highlanders’ favour after 21 minutes.

After the Highlanders were punished for being offside, Force scrum-half Ian Prior added the three points from the tee.

Prior soon added another three to cut the deficit to four after his forwards won a morale-boosting scrum-penalty.

From an attacking scrum the Highlanders went for the try-line but Bill Meakes stole it on the ground for the Force. But in his attempt to get the ball away, his errant pass was pounced on by Seiuli who cruised over from close range and could barely believe his luck.

Semisi Masirewa was then sin-binned for a deliberate knockdown by referee Shuhei Kubo before the sides went into the interval with the Force 17-6 down.

Shortly after the interval, Osborne sold the Force defence with a dummy before showing searing pace to run through under the posts from his own try-line. Banks converted to make the score 24-6.

Richie Arnold was then given a yellow card for a shoulder charge on Banks long after the fly-half had passed the ball.

The Highlanders just kept getting over the advantage-line before Seiuli bumped off Force scrum-half Kayne Hammington to grab his second.

Li then turned provider when he sucked in three defenders out on the right by stepping inside and then produced a sublime basketball pass for Thompson to cruise through and dot down in the 60th minute. Banks added a wonderful conversion from out on the touchline to make it 38-6

Thompson then turned provider himself after scything through the Force defence and offloading for Hunt to cruise in under the posts.

The seventh Highlanders try came from a long pass from Bill Meakes that saw Richard Buckman intercept and run the distance to score. That was Meakes’ second intercept pass of the night.

The Highlanders had an attacking scrum in the Force 22 metre line in the final play of the game. The Force stole it and went wide but they dropped the ball and Rob Thompson pounced to score his second of the game.

The scorers:

For Force:
Pens: Prior 2
Yellow Cards: Masirewa, Arnold

For Highlanders:
Tries: Li, Seiuli 2, Osborne, Thompson 2, Hunt, Buckman
Cons: Banks 5
Pen: Banks

Thanks to 

Hurricanes put 60 past Cheetahs

0

The Cheetahs crushed to another huge defeat when the Hurricanes bet them 61-7 on Saturday

The Cheetahs hold the Hurricanes well in the first 15 minutes but after trying to play within their own twenty-two the Hurricanes got over for their first try.

It took not long for them to speed up the game and scored their second try when they found the holes in the Cheetahs defence.

This gave them a 14-0 lead after 20 min.

The Cheetahs did hit back midway through the first half with a try of their own to get on the board and make the lead of the Hurricanes only 14-7.

With both teams trying to run the ball the Hurricanes had the better of the possession and scored their third try on the stroke of halftime to take a 21-7 lead at the break

The Hurricanes just dominated play in the second half and run in three quick tries as the Cheetahs defence were being stretch with one man less on the field.

This gave the Hurricanes a 42-7 lead after 60 min.

Although the Cheetahs tried as they could on attack their defence was yet again just not good enough and they let through more tries to give the Hurricanes a 61-7 win.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Fifita, Aso 3, Savea, Perenara, Lam, Apisai
Cons: Barrett 5, Black 3

For Cheetahs:
Try: Zeilinga
Con: Zeilinga
Yellow Card: Hugget

Stormers fight back to win against Blues

3

Stormers came back to put a gutsy performance in the second half to win the game against the Blues on Friday 30-22

With both team gunning for a win the game started a bit slow and not one team really taking control.

It was the Stormers who scored the first points through a penalty to take a lead of 3-0 after 4 min. They had the territory for the better part of the 10 minutes but could not get passed the Blues defence.

The Blues also lost a player with a yellow card after giving too many penalties away in their own twenty-two but kept the Stormers out.

Good decision making gave the Blues better control of the game and started to play in the right areas of the field.

The game then made a full 180 with Eben Etzebeth being stupid and pushing players after the whistle which earned him a yellow card.

This allowed the Blues and extra man and they took full advantage and scored two tries while Etzebeth were off the field to take a lead of 12-3 after 36 min

The Stormers did get back into the game when Etzebeth returned and were able to score a their first try just as the hooter sounded for halftime.

This made the halftime score 12-10 for the Blues with both teams having to come out much better than what they have produced in the first half.

The Blues started well and quickly moved back into the Stormers half as they easily got over for their third try of the match.

This gave them a 19-10 lead.

With the Stormers with more ball in hand they got to the Blues twenty-two and kept them pinned down there. They finally got over after a kick penalty from Leyds.

This gave the Stormers a 20-19 lead.

Diffie then dived on Kolbe while he was on the ground with his knees and got his second yellow card which then made it a red.

This gave the Blues fourteen players for the rest of the game and still chasing the game.

We then had some more controversy with referee Van Heerden awarding a try to the Stormers with the help of his TMO. De Allende clearly had a double movement before Notshe went from his knees to score the try.

This gave the Stormers a 27-19 lead with 10 minutes to go

The Blues did hit back with a penalty to make the score 27-22 with 7 minutes to go.

The Stormers with an extra man made the most of the ball and kept the pressure on the Blues to take a hard-fought win of 30-22.

Stormers

Tries: Siya Kolisi, Dillyn Leyds, Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Conversions: SP Marais (3)

Penalties: SP Marais (3)

Blues

Tries: George Moala, James Parsons, Blake Gibson

Conversions: Piers Francis (2)

Penalty: Bryn Gatland

Sader still unbeaten after win over Chiefs

0

The Crusaders have kept their unbeaten record in tack after beating the Ciefs in Fiji on Friday with 31-24.

It was again a great performance from the Super Rugby leaders as they showed again their dominance in the competition this year. The Chiefs had their changes but at the end of the game two poor lineouts stop them from stealing a draw out of the match.

The Chiefs led at the break with 17-13 which was a closely contested match as we expected between these to top teams in the competition.

With the late withdraw of Matt Todd the Crusaders scored three tries through Bedwell-Curtis, Havili and Funnel while they added two conversions and four penalties through the boot of  Mo’unga.

The Chiefs replied with four tries of their own with Nnai-Williams, Lowe, Hames and Cruden going over the whitewash. Cruden boot let him down on the night and his general play was not as good as we used to and maybe the difference.

With this win the Crusaders took another four points on the log and 11 points clear of the second place New Zealand team.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries: Nanai-Williams, Lowe, Hames, Cruden
Cons: Cruden 2, McKenzie

For Crusaders:
Tries: Bedwell-Curtis, Havili, Funnell
Cons: Mo’unga 2
Pens: Mo’unga 4

Force beat poor Jaguares

0

The Force picked up only their third victory of the season on Saturday as they shocked the Jaguares, winning 16-6 at Vélez Sarsfield.

Victory remarkably gives the Force renewed hope in the Australian Conference as they are now six points off the pace-setting Brumbies.

Tries came from wing Alex Newsome and replacement lock Isireli Naisarani while Ian Prior kicked two penalties to beat a poor Jaguares.

After last week’s 46-39 win over the Sunwolves, to witness a first-half that saw just three points scored was a shock in Buenos Aires.

Those points came via a Prior penalty as the Force held their own against an international-filled home side, who made too many mistakes.

The Jaguares did look to flex their muscles early on with a line-out drive but good defensive work from the Force foiled their first attempt.

The Force then grew into the game, taking an attacking scrum five metres out. However number eight Richard Hardwick fumbled over the line, much to his dismay, as this time it was the Jaguares who dodged a bullet. So with 20 minutes gone there was still no score to speak of.

A yellow card for Force lock Richie Arnold for tackling Batista Ezcurra early – coming after Tomás Lezana’s strong run – hinted that the drought might be nearing its end for the Jaguares. But again the line-out drive didn’t work and the Force repelled them with somewhat ease.

In fact the Australians would go down to the other end of the field and nail a penalty after a ruck offence on 36 minutes, making it 3-0, before Jaguares full-back Joaquín Tuculet came close to scoring a try on the left wing in the last play but for centre Curtis Rona’s fine tackle.

The second 40 began in controversial fashion as half-time replacement James Verity-Amm, who came on for Lance, was denied a try after referee Ben O’Keefe adjudged Tetera Faulkner to have blocked Tuculet as he was attempting to regather his own kick earlier in the play.

Undeterred the Force almost crossed again three minutes later when Hardwick went close, being tackled and then held up over the line.

The Jaguares responded and finally put points to their name on 49 minutes after a high shot on Martín Landajo led to Hernández kicking a penalty. Prior was unable to chalk that off soon after from wide out, after Jaguares tighthead prop Ramiro Herrera was penalised for a push.

Force scrum-half Prior was successful, however, on the hour as a powerful scrum on the Jaguares ten-metre saw him make no mistake for 6-3. This time though it was the turn over the Jaguares to try and respond soon after and Hernández had a simple effort to make it 6-6.

With time ticking on it seemed the clash was set to remain try-less, but that prospect ended on 68 minutes when a smart break from Prior led to him offloading to Newsome who finished well on the right wing. Prior missed the conversion attempt so it was only an 11-6 cushion.

But the result was sealed on 75 minutes when replacement lock Naisarani forced his way over to make it 16-6, which was how it remained.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:
Pens: Hernández 2

For Force:
Tries: Newsome, Naisarani
Pens: Prior 2
Yellow Card: Arnold