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Bulls go top


Pretoria side dominate, Stormers shine in Melbourne, but Sharks and Lions stumble

SLICK PASS: Hanro Liebenberg of the Bulls (middle) moves the ball as hes challenged by Alex Mafi of the Reds during Saturdays game at Loftus Versveld. Picture: Samuel Shivambu BackpagePix

The Bulls returned to winning ways and to the top of the South African Conference table thanks to their 32-17 Super Rugby win over the Reds on Saturday evening in Pretoria.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Stormers beat the Rebels 41-24 in Melbourne to finish their four-match Australasian tour on a positive note. But on a sour note for SA teams, in their match on Saturday afternoon, the Sharks succumbed to a disappointing 51-17 loss to the Jaguares in Durban, and the Lions also stumbled in their tour opener when the Brumbies won their Canberra clash by 31-20.

Snyman shines as
Bulls stampede Reds

Springbok lock RG Snyman celebrated his return from injury with a high-quality performance for the Bulls who stampeded the Reds. The Pretoria outfit shrugged off their last-minute loss to the Jaguares in the previous round to outscore the Queenslanders by five tries to two for their deserved bonus-point win at Loftus.

Snyman, the big and mobile Springbok lock, was at the heart of almost all his side’s forward exchanges and he was especially impressive with ball in hand, finding his teammates with his well-timed offloads. He was deservedly named the Man of the Match.

Fiery Jaguares maul Sharks in Durban

The Jaguares brought the Sharks down to earth with a hefty bump when they outclassed the home side for a comprehensive 51-17 triumph in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

The Durbanites were superb in their previous outing against the Lions in Johannesburg, but on this occasion, they struggled on home turf against the well-organised South Americans.

A poor defensive effort saw them conceding seven tries and by half-time, they were already 21-10 behind and chasing the game after the visitors had scored three times.

The 51 points scored by the Jaguares is the second-most ever conceded by the Sharks in Durban – one less than the 52 scored by the Crusaders at Jonsson Kings Park in 2015.

Brumbies gallop away from valiant Lions

The Lions fought gallantly, but in the end, the Brumbies were too good and secured a 31-20 victory in Canberra on Saturday morning (SA time). It wasn’t the start to their Australasian tour the team from Johannesburg would have hoped for and they must now regroup for their remaining tour matches against the Chiefs and Crusaders.

While the Lions created enough scoring opportunities, their high error-rate would have been a big concern for the Highvelders’ coaching team, especially as they leaked 42 points against the Sharks at home last weekend.

Resilient Stormers down Rebels in Melbourne

A strong finish by the Stormers saw them clinch a 41-24 win over the Rebels in Melbourne in their round-nine clash on Friday afternoon (SA time).

Two second-half tries by former Blitzbok star Ruhan Nel helped the visitors pull clear of the Australian outfit, as the Stormers ultimately outscored the Rebels by five tries to three. The result gave the Cape outfit a morale-boosting win in their fourth and last match of their Australasian tour, following three losses on consecutive weeks.

The triumph is especially sweet for the Stormers as they went into the game without regulars such as the experienced Springbok forward trio of Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit, with Steven Kitshoff captaining the Capetonians in this match.

The win moved the Stormers (18 points) from the basement to third in the South African Conference, while the Melbourne side remains top of the Australian table despite this defeat.