Centre Lionel Mapoe scored three of the Emirates Lions’ seven tries in their 43-5 Vodacom Super Rugby victory over the Blues on a soaking wet Emirates Airline Park on Saturday evening. The Highveld side also moved passed the DHL Stormers to the top team of the combined South African group standings.
The Johannesburg team gained five points and the DHL Stormers only two, after the Cape side managed to salvage a 17-all draw against the Sunwolves in Singapore thanks to a last-gasp try by replacement prop Vincent Koch. Currently, the Emirates Lions have 32 points, one more than their Cape Town rivals.
In the late match on Saturday evening, Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie kicked 20 points to steer the Cell C Sharks to a close-fought 25-22 victory over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires. The Durban outfit led 19-17 at halftime in this gripping encounter and the four points they collected moved them to third place in the SA group on 30 points.
The Argentine side outscored their South African opponents by three tries to one, but it was the composed performance with the boot by Lambie that proved the difference between the two teams.
In Bloemfontein, the Toyota Cheetahs had to fight off a determined late rally by the Southern Kings for their 34-20 home win, a welcome result after they had endured a difficult overseas trip.
The Vodacom Bulls finished their Australian tour with a disappointing 31-8 defeat against the Waratahs, a result which saw them slipped to fourth on the SA group league table.
Elsewhere, the Highlanders defeated the Crusaders 34-26 in Dunedin on Friday morning SA time and the Brumbies won 30-22 over the Reds on the same day in Melbourne. On Saturday, the Hurricanes ran out winners 29-14 over the Reds in Wellington.
Cell C Sharks (19) 25 Jaguares (17) 22
No 8 Dan du Preez scored the only try for the visitors while Lambie slotted the conversion as well as six penalties for his personal tally of 20 points in this tense encounter in Buenos Aires.
It was the first start of the campaign for flyhalf Patrick Lambie after returning from a shoulder injury and he also resumed the captaincy. He started the previous week off the bench, when his side defeated the Hurricanes 32-15 in Durban.
The Jaguares played with grit and determination in front of their supporters and Lambie only managed to land the winning kick seconds before the final hooter.
For the Argentine side, lock Tomás Lavanini, scrumhalf Martín Landajo and prop Santiago García Botta each scored a try. No 10 Nicolás Sánchez kicked two conversions and a penalty.
Afterwards, Argentina internationals Agustin Creevy and Leonardo Senatore were both been cited for foul play. Pumas captain Creevy was cited for a dangerous tackle on flanker Jean Deysel that resulted in the loose forward being carried off on a stretcher.
Senatore was cited after Sanzaar officials reviewed match footage and determined the 32-year-old flanker had appeared to have bitten Sharks loose forward Keegan Daniel during a ruck. Sanzaar said in a statement the match citing commissioner had deemed that both actions had met the red card threshold for foul play.
Jaguares 22 – Tries: Tomas Lavini, Martin Landajo, Santiago Garcia Botta; Conversions: Nicholas Sanchez (2); Penalty: Sanchez.
Cell C Sharks 25 – Try: Daniel du Preez; Conversion: Patrick Lambie; Penalties: Patrick Lambie (6).
Emirates Lions (19) 45 Blues (0) 5
The Emirates Lions scored three tries in the first ten minutes of this encounter played in a constant downpour to lay the foundation for a well-deserved 43-5 win over the Blues on Saturday night in Johannesburg. They eventually scored seven tries in total and conceded only one.
It was the Johannesburg side who made a clinical start to the match despite the soaking wet conditions, and a trio of tries in quick succession by Warren Whiteley, Courtnall Skosan and Rohan Janse van Rensburg paved the way for a dominant display. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicked two conversions to make the halftime score 19-0.
After the break, the Emirates Lions continued their dominance, which left resulted in further tries through Lionel Mapoe, who scored a hat-trick, and Warwick Tecklenburg. Jantjies added the rest of the points with the boot. Joe Edwards grabbed a consolation try for the Blues.
Emirates Lions – Tries: Warren Whiteley, Courtnall Skosan, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe (3), Warren Tecklenburg. Conversions: Jantjies (4), Ruan Combrink
Blues – Try: Joe Edwards
Toyota Cheetahs (17) 34 Southern Kings (6) 20
The Toyota Cheetahs scored a hard-earned 34-20 win over the Southern Kings on Saturday in Bloemfontein to return to winning ways after a tough, frustrating three weeks overseas.
Raymond Rhule, Uzair Cassiem, Michael van der Spuy and Segeal Petersen each dotted down a try for the home side while JP du Plessis and Lukhanyo Am scored for the visitors. The Kings trailed 17-6 at the break and are yet to beat a South African side in the competition, while the Bloemfontein side won for the first time over a local rival.
The home side led 17-6 at halftime and 27-6 at one stage, but the Kings staged a determined effort in the second half to deny the hosts a vital try bonus-point.
Toyota Cheetahs 34 – Tries: Raymond Rhule, Uzair Cassiem, Michael van der Spuy, Segeal Petersen; Conversions: Fred Zeilinga 4; Penalties: Fred Zeilinga 2.
Southern Kings 20 – Tries: JP du Plessis, Lukhanyo Am; Conversions: Elgar Watts, Louis Fouche; Penalties: Elgar Watts 2.
Sunwolves (14) 17 DHL Stormers (3) 17
Prop Vincent Koch scored a crucial try in the last minute as the DHL Stormers wiped out a 14 points deficit to snatch a 17-17 draw against the Sunwolves in Singapore on Saturday. Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit was first try scorer for the Cape side.
Prolific Japanese winger Akihito Yamada scored a try and had another disallowed as the Sunwolves looked certain to pull off an upset, only to fade in the last 20 minutes. He has now scored eight times, the most tries by any player so far this season.
Sunwolves flyhalf Tusi Pisi kicked his fourth penalty to hand his side a healthy 17-3 lead before the Cape side started their comeback. Du Toit then crashed over and when flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis nailed the difficult conversion the difference was just seven points.
The Asian side snubbed a kick for poles when they were awarded a penalty with three minutes to go and paid dearly when the visitor launched a final raid, which resulted in a try for replacement prop Koch. Reserve kicker Brandon Thomson added the conversion to force the draw.
Sunwolves 17 – Try: Yakihito Yamada; Penalties: Tusi Pisi 4.
DHL Stormers 17 – Tries: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Vincent Koch; Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis, Brandon Thomson; Penalty: Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Waratahs (7) 31 Vodacom Bulls 8 (3)
The Waratahs defeated the Vodacom Bulls 31-8 in Sydney on Saturday after outscoring the visitors from Pretoria by four tries to one.
Nick Phipps (2), Dean Mumm and Angus Taavao-Matau scored for the Waratahs while Bernard Foley slotted all four conversions and added a penalty. Dries Schoeman dotted a consolation try for the Pretoria side and Tiaan Schoeman landed a penalty.
Unfortunately for the Vodacom Bulls, the defeat is their second on tour and they return home with two losses and a bonus point win over the Force.
Meanwhile, the result moves the Waratahs to the top of the Australian Conference with the Brumbies in second place.
Waratahs – Tries: Nick Phipps (2), Dean Mumm, Angus Taavao-Matau. Conversions: Bernard Foley (4). Penalties: Foley.
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Dries Swanepoel. Penalties: Tiaan Schoeman.
Other Rounds 12 results:
Saturday, 14 May
Hurricanes 29, Reds 14
Rebels 22, Brumbies 30
Friday, 13 May
Highlanders 34, Crusaders 26