Rugby / 10 April 2016, 1:29pm / ANA Sports Reporter
Cape Town – The Emirates Lions moved to the top of the second Africa conference thanks to a deserved 24-9 victory over the Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday evening. The Highveld team scored two tries and they also flexed their defensive muscle to keep the home team tryless.
In another Saturday night clash, the Vodacom Bulls outscored the gallant Southern Kings by six tries to none as the men from Pretoria registered a 38-6 win over the Port Elizabeth side, despite playing with 13 men at one stage.
The DHL Stormers, with Springbok centre Damian de Allende back in action after a lengthy injury, consolidated their place on top of the first Africa conference thanks to a 46-19 romp over the Sunwolves in Cape Town on Friday evening.
The Cape side are leading the points tally amongst the South African teams and they have collected 23 points so far from six matches. They are followed by the Vodacom Bulls on 19 points, the Emirates Lions (18) and the Cell C Sharks (16).
The Durban side leave on Sunday for a three-match tour of New Zealand. The Toyota Cheetahs, who had a rest weekend, and also the Kings have scored one match apiece. Elsewhere, the Crusaders scrapped through 20-19 against the Force in Perth, while the Chiefs kept their momentum by beating the Blues 29-23 in Hamilton. Both games were played on Friday.
The Hurricanes were too strong for the Jaguares and they beat the Argentine visitors 40-22 in Wellington, while the Reds scored their first win of the season when they edged the Highlanders 28-27 in Brisbane in the other Saturday clash.
Cell C Sharks (6) 9 Emirates Lions (18) 24
The Emirates Lions kept the Cell C Sharks tryless in their 24-9 derby win on Saturday at the Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium in Durban. The result means that the Johannesburg-based franchise moved past the Durban side to now sit at the top of the second African conference.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies was instrumental in the victory and he scored 14 points for the Highvelders with a conversion and four penalties. They outscored the home side two tries to none with Andries Ferreira and Lionel Mapoe dotting down.
The visitors scored their two tries before halftime, while the Cell C Sharks could only manage two successful penalties by flyhalf Joe Pietersen during that time.
The Cell C Sharks, who fly to New Zealand on Sunday, also suffered a major setback when influential Springbok flanker Marcell Coetzee left the field with a knee injury before halftime.
Scorers: Cell C Sharks (6) 9 – Penalties: Joe Pietersen (3).
The Vodacom Bulls scored six unanswered tries in their comprehensive 38-6 win over the Southern Kings on Saturday evening at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The result means that the Vodacom Bulls stay firmly in second place in the first Africa conference behind the DHL Stormers.
Last weekend the Kings recorded their first win of the competition when they defeated the Sunwolves at home, and they again started in determined fashion in the hope of keeping the momentum. However, the Pretoria-side were strong in the scrums and lineouts and their greater experience allowed them to convert their pressure into points at regular intervals.
The men from Pretoria were down to 13 players at one stage when lock RG Snyman and prop Marcel van der Merwe were yellow carded, and although the Kings came close on several occasions, their execution was not accurate enough.
Former Springbok Sevens wing Jamba Ulengo and fullback SP Marais scored two tries each for the winner while Springbok centre Jan Serfontein and Snyman also crossed the whitewash.
Scorers: Southern Kings (6) 6 – Penalties: Louis Fouché (2).
Debutant flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis made an immediate impact as the Cape side maintained their hold on the first Africa conference with a comprehensive 46-19 win over the Sunwolves at home on Friday evening.
Before their clash with the DHL Stormers, the Sunwolves’ previous three matches against South African opposition were decided by five points or fewer and they managed to score 55 points in their last two games against SA sides.
On Friday, however, the Capetonians outscored the Japanese visitors by seven tries to three to earn a valuable additional bonus point.
They made a quick start and were 27-0 ahead within 25 minutes, but the visitors showed typical tenacity during the second part of the opening half. Du Plessis, starting his first match at flyhalf, showed neat handling touches to set up tries for wing Kobus van Wyk and the second one scored by flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Du Plessis, a 2014 Junior Springbok, then capped a good debutant performance by scoring his team’s last try to finish with a personal tally of 16 points.
Scorers: DHL Stormers (27) 46 – Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe (2), Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh, Scarra Ntubeni, Louis Schreuder, Jean Luc du Plessis; Conversions: Du Plessis (4); Penalty: Du Plessis.