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The Emirates Lions and DHL Stormers have kept there places in the two African conferences after this weekends matches by beating the Southern Kings and Reds respectively on Saturday.

The Sharks added to the winning teams for South Africa when they won a nail bitter against the Highlanders earlier on Friday morning. The Cheetahs was unable to build on the impressive win from last weekend over the Sunwolves as they went down to the Rebels. With the Bulls having a bye it turned out not to bad for South African fans as the teams secure three wins out of a possible four.

Highlanders (3) 14 Cell C Sharks (6) 15

The Sharks are not close yet to being a real contender for the title but getting back to winning way was as important as starting to play better than what they have done the last couple of weeks. That this will be a tough game to come over to New Zealand and win no one doubt but the Sharks have shown again that they have the defense to keep other teams from scoring but you cannot defend all the time.

The game swung into the Sharks favour when Jason Emercy charged into Willie Le Roux while he was going up for a high ball. This resulted into a red card for the Highlanders as the referee had no other choice. With only fourteen men against them for a huge part of the game the Sharks made life difficult for them to win the game by giving silly penalties away and also conceded two yellow cards in the match.

Discipline have been a problem for the Sharks in recent weeks conceding a lot of penalties and it almost cost them the game. One of the most disturbing aspects of the game was the captaincy of Mtawarira. The way that he questioned the referee and even at one stage suggesting he was cheating was unacceptable and not good for the game. Gary Gold need to really reconsider if he is the right man for the job.

The Sharks was forced into an early change after Springbok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach suffered an ankle injury but Claassens did not disappoint when he came on and had a great game for the Sharks.

That a long road still lies ahead for the Sharks is a fact but they can take this win and take the confidence from it to concentrate on fixing the problems in their game.

Matt Faddes scored the only try of the match and flyhalf Lima Sopoaga slotted three penalties for the Highlanders.

Scores:

Cell C Sharks 15 – Penalties: Garth April (5).

Highlanders 14 – Try: Matt Faddes; Penalties: Lima Sopoaga (3).

 

Rebels (10) 36 Toyota Cheetahs (14) 14

The Toyota Cheetahs could not build on their emphatic win for the previous weekend as they went down 36-14 to the Rebels on Friday.

They never got the ascendency in any aspect of the game and were bullied in the set pieces and rucks. The Cheetahs could not add any points in the second half after leading the Rebels 14-10 at half time. With the Rebels coming off a loss the previous week they would have always going to be difficult to beat at home and the Cheetahs did not help themselves by making too many mistakes which the Rebels could feed on.

The Rebels have been a revelation this year in the competition and with this win are leading the Australian conference as well, making them no pushover anymore. They outscore the Cheetahs with five tries to two and earning themselves a much needed bonus point as well.

The Cheetahs started well but were unable to keep it up during the game as they let the Rebels every time back in the game through bad defense. Defense have been an issue for the Cheetahs all year and it is something they will have to sort out in their game. We know that the Cheetahs have a great attacking game but you cannot win Super Rugby games on attack alone.

The home side came out firing in the second half and they were duly rewarded with tries through Lopeti Timani and Jonah Placid. Hodge secured the win with his second try and Ellison clinched the vital bonus point with an intercept try.

Scorers:

Rebels 36 – Tries: Reece Hodge (2), Lopeti Timani, Jonah Placid, Tamati Ellison; Conversions: Jack Debreczeni (4); Penalty: Debreczeni.

Toyota Cheetahs 14 – Tries: Torsten Van Jaarsveld, Clayton Blommetjies; Conversions: Niel Marais (2).

DHL Stormers (17) 40 Reds 22 (10)

This was one off those games that supporters of the Stormers will feel that they are happy with the win but more so that it is over. It is not one of those games that supporters, players and couches will feel good about.

The Stormers was clearly the better side on the field and it showed through the way that they put phases together and throughout the game looked like they could score tries from anywhere on the field, but they were hugely disappointed on the night with too many handling errors and not dominating with there tight five as expected. The Stormers did not dominate the scrums and the injury to co-captain Malherbe must have played a roll in not only the scrums but also the collusion points.

The Stormers have again created plenty of opportunities which they could not convert over into tries. Stand-in captain Damien De Allende was disappointing in his first full game of the season and maybe it was not such a great idea to make him captain on the day.

Winning ugly still counts as a win and the Stormers will take it as well but they will have to improve by a 110% for next weekends clash against the Waratahs if they want to come out winners.

The DHL Stormers finished the game strongly when Koch barged over for their fourth try.

Scorers:

Stormers 40 – Tries: Kobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas, Nic Groom, Vincent Koch; Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (3), Brandon Thomson; Penalties: Du Plessis, Thomson (3).

Reds 22 – Try: Liam Gill, Karmichael Hunt, Eto Nabuli; Conversions: Jake McIntyre (2); Penalty: McIntyre.

Southern Kings (5) 10 Emirates Lions (21) 45

That the Emirates Lions outscored the Southern Kings with seven tries to two may show an great win for the Lions but it does not shown that they Lions did not have it all their way in PE on Saturday.

The Kings were able to disrupt the Lions game and keep them close in the first 30 min of the game but the class of the Lions came through as the game went one. Strangely enough the Lions also did not have their won way at scrum time and even struggling at the later stages of the match.

The Lions also will go away from PE with some concerns on their props getting injured leaving them a bit vulnerable going forward. The Lions game are all about a good set piece at scrum time and lineouts and they build pressure through it.

Both teams made a slow start but it was the Emirates Lions who scored three converted tries in the first half through Warren Whiteley, Courtnall Skosan and Armand van der Merwe. They had two earlier tries disallowed which could have put them in a better position to take the game away earlier from the Kings.

After the break, four more tries from the visitors ensured they return to the Highveld with a comfortable win plus a well-deserved bonus point for their effort. Man of the Match, right wing Ruan Combrinck, and replacement centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg each scored two tries while Chris Cloete scored with a brilliant individual effort for the Kings, who never gave up trying.

Scorers:

Southern Kings 10 – Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu, Chris Cloete.

Emirates Lions 45 – Tries: Warren Whiteley, Courtnall Skosan, Armand van der Merwe (2), Ruan Combrinck (2), Rohan Janse van Rensburg; Conversions: Elton Jantjies (5).

Other results this weekend:

Saturday, 23 April

Sunwolves 36, Jaguares 28

Hurricanes 27, Chiefs 28

Sunday, 24 April

Brumbies 14, Crusaders 40

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PosTeamPWLPts
14310
24400
34310
45230
54220
65410
75410
84310
95220
100000

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Bunny-
    Blame me for Beast comments. He was channeling my thoughts – you should hear the smack I had him say to GG post game OMFG. Poor GG.
    Kudos to the SunKing for showing Andre Venter-esque toughness in the face of NZ ( or was it the bookies?) unsportsmanlike conduct. With such heroics he secured his rightful place on the Mt Olympus of Rugby Union.

  2. I only saw SunKing team game this week. But whats up with Jaguars?
    I want them to flip to all test Argie rugby just to get in winning habit.
    It’s one thing to fun & gun but you HAVE to catch the ball to make that come off. Jaguars need to ditch the paws & get some freaking hands.

  3. Big bounce back for Stormers this week. Reds were a huge banana peel waiting to be stepped on due to
    1) It is very hard to take S18 Australian teams seriously ESPECIALLY when they play away.
    2) Stormers left it all on field previous week vs Lions

    Kudos to the master class in coaching put on by TheRobbyFleck. An AC coached Stormers would have surely blown this one to the Reds.

  4. @Americano: That Sunwolves game was something special in the second half, proof my point on where I said last week SR should be split into two tournaments where we can see more strength to strength rather than that mismatch 90 points game…

    This was a perfect example of my point I wanted to bring over…

    On Beast….I think he is an arsh….on JP yellow card he did not even saw what JP did, and the referee was 100% correct tripping players while on ground is not on…

    Beast is not a captains arsh and his play is also going up for crap

  5. Aren’t you guys being a bit harsh on Beast? We see things on tv in slow play, he doesn’t. It is the captain’s right to question the ref and I think up to Friday he has been forthright but respectful. I guess it was a bit cheeky Beast suggesting to the ref that he was being harsh on the Sharks to even out the red card dished out to the Highlanders . Contrary to you guys, I feel his performance has stepped up since being made captain. Some guys come out of their shells and blossom given responsibility – I think Beast is one.

  6. @out wide:

    I agree somewhat… it’s been pissing me off when he remains quiet in other games… however calling the ref a cheat is a bit of a no-no… no matter which words he used…

  7. I quite liked the Lions bringing on a second scrumhalf, Faf covering the left and Cronje the right, alternating who plays flyhalf.

    I think if they can have a mobile bench to support, they could literally run teams off their feet in the last 15 minutes, will be tough to manage because Faf was exhausted by then and will have to work hard on his fitness, but I think it is the ultimate strategy if the Lions were chasing a bonus point.

    Must be the influence of the great John Mitchell.

  8. Quite strange, Beast, is one of those quiet types, All of the Stormers captains shouts “HOLDING HOLDING HOLDING” at every single ruck.

    I don’t know what is worse, Mathew Pierce salivating over his Stormpoppies, Shimange looking for every reason to penalize the oposition or having that constant shouting of “holding!!!” in the background of the commentary team.

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