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Unimpressive Stormers win, defeats for Bulls, Sharks and Lions

LIVEWIRE: Damian Willemse of the Stormers had a cracker of a match against the Reds at Newlands on Saturday.Picture: BackapgePix

The DHL Stormers repelled a late Reds fightback to emerge with a 25-19 win at Newlands on Saturday evening in their Super Rugby round-six match. The Cape side led 14-7 at the interval and went on to clinch back-to-back home victories.

In the late evening fixture played in Buenos Aires, the Emirates Lions went down 49-35 to the Jaguares, who maintained their unbeaten home record against the Highveld team.

The Vodacom Bulls and the Cell C Sharks also lost their away matches abroad on Friday morning. John Mitchell’s side went down 33-14 to the Crusaders in Christchurch while the Rebels outplayed the Sharks 46-14 in Melbourne.

Assured performance

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Damian Willemse continued his good form with another assured performance in the Stormers No 10 jersey. He again showed very good form on attack, kicked confidently and was solid on defence.

The Cape side looked dangerous on attack and raced to an 18-0 lead at one stage thanks to tries from scrumhalf Dewald Duvenhage and prop Wilco Louw. The Reds countered with two converted tries either side of the interval to bring them within touching distance of the home team. Willemse was then on target with a difficult conversion after Raymond Rhule dotted down a beautifully weighted kick by Craig Barry.

The Reds came storming back with a strong passage of play which resulted in a converted try by wing Filipo Daugunu, however, the Cape side held their nerve to clinch a third home triumph.

Against the Lions, the Jaguares started at a fast pace and controlled the match to eventually score six tries, while flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez kicked five conversions and three penalties for a contribution of 19 points. Replacement hooker Malcolm Marx grabbed two of the Lions’ five tries and flyhalf Elton Jantjies slotted all five conversions.

The Bulls returned home from their three-match Australasian tour following their 33-14 defeat against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday morning (SA time). Playing in damp conditions, the Crusaders scored five times, with flyhalf Mitchell Hunt hitting the target with four conversions.

The Pretoria outfit replied with tries by wing Travis Ismaiel and replacement loose forward Marco van Staden while No 10 Handré Pollard converted both tries.

The Rebels bounced back from their loss last week against the Waratahs by outplaying the Sharks for a 46-15 victory.

The Melbourne side scored six tries and the visitors from Durban replied with two through wing Lwazi Mvovo and centre Marius Louw.

So after six rounds, the Lions are still atop of the SA Conference despite their loss in Argentina. They have 19 points from six matches and have six points more than the second-placed Stormers (13). The Sharks remain on nine points while the Jaguares (8) moved above the Bulls (5) into the fourth spot.

The Crusaders moved to the top of the New Zealand Conference on 15 points and in the Australian Conference, the Rebels are the pacesetters on 20 points.

ANA