- Cell C Sharks too good for DHL Stormers
- Reds comeback fell Vodacom Bulls in Brisbane
- Emirates Lions suffer more pain on the road
- Competition suspended, SA teams to return home
The Cell C Sharks defeated the DHL Stormers 24-14 on Saturday in Durban to consolidate top spot in the South African Conference of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
The Vodacom Bulls were stunned by a great Reds comeback in Brisbane, where the Queenslanders managed to wipe out a 17-0 deficit for a comprehensive 41-17 victory, while the Emirates Lions lost 43-10 to the Blues in Auckland.
Following the decision by SANZAAR to suspend the competition in response to the Corona virus, the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls will now return to South Africa from New Zealand and Australia respectively.
The Jaguares’ home game against the Highlanders scheduled for late Saturday evening was called off to allow the Kiwi-side to return to New Zealand, while the Brumbies downed the Waratahs 47-14 in the last fixture played on Sunday. The tournament will now be put on hold for an indefinite period.
Cell C Sharks too good for DHL Stormers
The Cell C Sharks continued with their good form in Durban where they outplayed the DHL Stormers 24-14 in their round seven match on Saturday.
Lukhanyo Am’s side led 10-7 at halftime thanks to a drop goal by Curwin Bosch after Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks fullback) and Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers scrumhalf) scored a try apiece.
The second half produced all the ingredients of a full-blooded South African derby, however, with the newly assembled home pack standing their ground superbly against the visitors’ much praised forward combination.
With their forward holding their own, the Cell C Sharks’ potent backline became more of a threat as the game progressed.
Less than an hour before kick-off, Sanzaar confirmed the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament will be suspended at the conclusion of the round due to rising concerns around the coronavirus pandemic.
Reds comeback fell Vodacom Bulls in Brisbane
The Reds produced a stirring comeback to wipe out an early 17-point deficit on their way to a comprehensive 41-17 victory of the Vodacom Bulls in their match in Brisbane on Saturday.
The men from Pretoria were on top of proceedings during the opening 20 minutes and managed to score three tries during that period of their seventh-round match.
However, the Reds hit back with two converted tries to reduce the halftime deficit to just 17-14. They also managed to make a crucial, try-saving tackle on in-form Vodacom Bulls wing Rosko Specman, who was prevented him from crossing the try line for a second try.
The rampant Reds scored six tries through Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hoopert. Bryce Hegarty kicked four conversions and a penalty goal.
The victory saw the Reds collect a full-house of five points for their win but they remain third on the Australian Conference log while the Pretoria outfit stay fourth in the South African Conference.
Emirates Lions suffer more pain on the road
The Blues inflicted a third straight tour loss on the Emirates Lions when they defeated the team from Jozi 43-10 in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday morning.
The Blues led by 22-10 at half-time and they kept the visitors scoreless in the second stanza.
The Aucklanders scored six tries through Rieko Ioane (2), Stephen Perofeta, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Hoskins Sotutu and a penalty try. Blues flyhalf Otere Black slotted three conversions and a penalty goal, while replacement back Harry Plummer added a conversion.
The Emirates Lions could only reply with a solitary try through Dan Kriel while Elton Jantjies added the rest of the points via a conversion and a penalty goal.
The bonus-point victory moved the Blues to the top of the New Zealand Conference table as they continue their impressive start to the season. However, the Emirates Lions will be desperate for improvement as they remain bottom of the South African Conference.
The weekend’s other Round 7 results are:
Sunday 15 March
Brumbies 47, Waratahs 14
Jaguares vs Highlanders postponed
Saturday, 14 March
Sunwolves 14, Crusaders 49
Friday, 13 March
Chiefs 24, Hurricanes 27