Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Weekend WRAP …

20120708-073140.jpgA look at the weekend’s rugby action:

Super Rugby results:
Lions 37 – 32 Rebels
Cheetahs 6 – 13 Stormers
Waratahs 15 – 19 Brumbies
Blues 32 – 9 Force
Sharks 32 – 10 Bulls
Reds 19 – 13 Highlanders
Chiefs 21 – 28 Crusaders

S15 Log:
Chiefs Pld:15 W:12 Pts:63
Stormers Pld:15 W:13 Pts:62
Brumbies Pld:15 W:10 Pts:58
Crusaders Pld:15 W:10 Pts:56
Bulls Pld:15 W:9 Pts:54
Sharks Pld:15 W:9 Pts:54

Reds Pld:15 W:10 Pts:53
Hurricanes Pld:15 W:9 Pts:53
Highlanders Pld:16 W:9 Pts:46
Cheetahs Pld:15 W:5 Pts:38
Waratahs Pld:15 W:4 Pts:35
Rebels Pld:15 W:4 Pts:31
Blues Pld:15 W:3 Pts:28
Force Pld:15 W:3 Pts:27
Lions Pld:15 W:3 Pts:25

Next week’s S15 fixtures:
Fri 13 July
09:35 Hurricanes vs Chiefs, Wellington

Sat 14 July
07:30 Brumbies vs Blues, Canberra
09:35 Crusaders vs Force, Christchurch
11:40 Reds vs Waratahs, Brisbane
15:00 Stormers vs Rebels, Cape Town
17:05 Sharks vs Cheetahs, Durban
19:10 Bulls vs Lions, Pretoria

So …. The Bulls and Sharks have their destiny in their own hands, needing a bonus point win to guarantee themselves a place in the final six, but if the Reds do not get a bonus point win against the Tahs, then a win might be good enough as they will have won more games than the Canes. If the Reds loose to the Tahs and the Canes to the Chiefs, then it’s a free ride to the top six!

If the Canes do beat the Chiefs, then the Stormers, now guaranteed SA conference winners, will just need a losing bonus point against the Rebels to top the log! The Chiefs need a bonus point win against the Canes to guarantee themselves top spot on the log. Miss out on a bonus point against the Canes, and the Stormers could usurp them with a bonus point win against the Rebels …

Spicy finish this … And the great thing for the SA sides is that they are playing the last 3 games of the weekend, so will know exactly what they need to do …

Club rugby results:
BORDER: Winter Rose 5-10 Police, Swallows 9-9 Old Selbornians, Cambridge 19-14 Breakers
SWD: Progress 42-7 Silver Stars, All Blacks 23-23 Barbarians, Blanco 48-22 Bonnievale United
WP: Hamiltons 47-14 False Bay, SK Walmers 12-31 Durb-Bell, Tygerberg 26-20 Belhar
EP: Kruisfontein 22-19 Park, Despatch 108-0 Crusaders, G Brumbies 20-17 Gardens, Suburban 24-103 Afr Bombers

Follow @saclubrugby on Twitter for sensational coverage of all club rugby in SA …

Currie Cup 1st division results:
Pumas 33 – 10 Boland
Griffons 41 – 20 Leopards
Eastern Province 38 – 15 SWD
Border 11 – 33 Valke

Next weekend’s CC fixtures:
Boland vs Leopards
Griffons vs Border
SWD vs Pumas
Valke vs Eastern Province

Front Row Grunt SuperBru: Well done to Charles Hamaty for his yellow cap which moves him 126 places up the leaderboard, and to Bubbles25 for continuing to hold fort at the top of the of the pile – although that vice grip on the pole position seems to be weakening a little at this crucial stage of the season! Tank’s shaky 4 from 7 drops him back into the bottom half of the 575 strong leaderboard …

It would be awesome to have you in our Currie Cup pool on SuperBru!
Pool name: Front Row Grunt
Pool code: duetjute

Weekend Match reports:

Super Rugby:

Sharks 32 (20) Vodacom Bulls 10 (3)

Striking when it mattered most, the Sharks moved back into playoff contention …

The KwaZulu-Natalians outscored the three-time champions by four tries to one as they dominated every facet of play. The foundation however was laid up front, where The Sharks’ pack held the upper hand in the tight phases and on the ground.

The Sharks scored two tries in the first half as Bismarck du Plessis and JP Pietersen crashed over. They held a 20-3 half-time lead and all but had the game in the bag at that stage.

When Keegan Daniel went over early in the second half, the bonus point was in their sights, but it still took The Sharks until the 79th minute for Louis Ludik to score that vital fourth try.

At that stage the Bulls had scored their only try of the game, by Zane Kirchner, but they simply never looked like really threatening The Sharks as they made way too many unforced errors. With a pack in reverse, it wasn’t that surprising though.

Sharks – Tries: Bismarck du Plessis, JP Pietersen, Keegan Daniel, Louis Ludik. Conversions: Fred Michalak (2), Meyer Bosman. Penalty goals: Michalak, Frans Steyn.
Bulls – Try: Zane Kirchner. Conversion: Morne Steyn. Penalty goal: Steyn.

Cheetahs 6 (3) Stormers 13 (3)

The Stormers are again the South African Conference champions …

The Capetonians were chasing a four-try bonus point, but unseasonal rain put paid to those plans. The conditions were terribly cold and wet in Bloemfontein, reducing the contest to one in which the team that had the best defence and made the least mistakes won.

Yet again that was the Stormers, who also scored the only try of the game, at a stage when the Cheetahs were reduced to 14 men because of a yellow card to Willie le Roux for a professional foul.

Moments before Le Roux returned to the field, the Stormers won back their own restart and from the ensuing play, Peter Grant deftly chipped into no-man’s land where Gio Aplon gathered to cross untouched.

Apart from this magical little play, the match was an arm wrestle where the two flyhalves, Grant and Riaan Smit, each kicked two penalty goals. Smit also missed twice, but even if he had slotted those, it’s difficult to see how the Stormers would have lost.

Cheetahs – Penalty goals: Riaan Smit (2).
Stormers – Try: Gio Aplon. Conversion: Peter Grant. Penalty goals: Grant (2).

Lions 37 (24) Rebels 32 (7)

The Rebels are still winless against South African opposition …

It was an entertaining clash in which each team scored four tries, with the home side getting three in the first half, including a brace by Derick Minnie, but then losing their rhythm in the second spell during which time they conceded three five-pointers.

Leading 24-7 at the break, it looked like the Lions were going to run away with it, but the Rebels fought back and with less than 10 minutes left in the match, the Melbournians were actually ahead by 32-27.

But the Joburgers got their momentum back towards the end of the match. A try in the corner by Jaco Kriel, masterfully converted by Elton Jantjies – who was successful with each of his seven kicks at goal – as well as a last-minute penalty goal by the Lions flyhalf, but the result beyond any doubt.

It was the Lions’ third win of the season and the second time in 2012 where they got a try-scoring bonuns point.

Lions – Tries: Waylon Murray, Derick Minnie (2), Jaco Kriel. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4). Penalty goals: Jantjies (3).
Rebels – Tries: Ged Robinson, Hugh Pyle (2), James Hilgendorf. Conversions: Julian Huxley (3). Penalty goals: Huxley (2).

Currie Cup 1st division:

EP 38 (12) SWD 15 (8)

EP flyhalf George Whitehead, with a personal haul of 23 points, marshalled his side to a solid win over their Kings franchise partners. In doing so, he gave the men from Port Elizabeth a solid start to their campaign for Premier Division status after their 25-20 away win over Boland in Round 1.

Four penalties from Whitehead gave the home side a 12-8 lead at halftime, with the Eagles scoring the only try of the opening stanza through winger Alshaun Bock.

The Kings came out firing after the break, scoring three tries in rapid succession – to fullback SP Marais and flankers Wimpie van der Walt and Cornell du Preez – to build up a 23-point lead and effectively kill off the game with half an hour remaining.

Whitehead got in on the action with the bonus-point try, while the Eagles had to be satisfied with a consolation score by replacement Deroy Rhoode.

EP – Tries: SP Marais, George Whitehead, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez. Conversions: George Whitehead (3). Penalties. Whitehead (4).
SWD – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Deroy Rhoode. Conversion: Kurt Coleman. Penalty: Coleman.

Border 11 (6) Valke 33 (19)

The Valke shrugged off their 37-27 home defeat to the Griffons in Round 1 by picking up an invaluable win on the road in East London.

The Kempton Park-based outfit had their workmanlike pack to thank for the win, the big men up front making sure that the home side’s fleet-footed backs were constantly on the back foot and had very little ball to work with.

Flyhalf Karlo Aspeling ran a well-orchestrated show and finished with 13 points as reward for a good night at the office, which included a fine individual effort to open his side’s account as early as the fifth minute.

Aspeling was joined on the try-scorers’ list by Namibia flanker Jacques Nieuwenhuis, who would finish with a brace, centre Willie Odendaal and replacement hooker Vernon du Preez.

For the outgunned Bulldogs, who lost 46-8 to the Eagles in Round 1, their tireless eighthman Lubabalo Mzwakali was rewarded with a try but as a team the Bulldogs just could not match the power of their East Rand opponents.

Border – Try: Lubabalo Mzwakali. Penalties: Reinhardt Gerber (2).
Valke – Tries: Karlo Aspeling, Vernon du Preez, Willie Odendaal, Jacques Nieuwenhuis (2). Conversions: Aspeling (4).

Pumas 33 (26) Boland 10 (3)

A first-half hat-trick of tries to flanker Jaco Bouwer set up an impressive victory in Nelspruit, as the men from Mpumalanga got their campaign back on track following their 32-23 first-round defeat away to the Leopards.

Boland would have wanted a positive start following their 25-20 home defeat to EP in Round 1, but they were stunned by the ferocity of the home team’s forwards, and in particular a driving maul which they used to telling effect to build up an insurmountable lead by the break.

The alarm bells began ringing for the Bolanders as early as the third minute when Bouwer crossed for his first try, with Pumas flyhalf Carl Bezuidenhout also going on for a try and kicking three conversions to open up a 23-point halftime lead.

The visitors improved markedly in the second period, but home skipper JW Jonker made sure there would be no chance of a come-from-behind victory by scoring his side’s fifth try with 15 minutes remaining. The Kavaliers’ only try came from replacement Jonathan Francke, but by that stage there was only ever going to be one winner in this one-sided contest.

Pumas – Tries: Jaco Bouwer (3), Carl Bezuidenhout, JW Jonker. Conversions: Bezuidenhout (4).
Boland – Try: Jonathan Francke. Conversion: Elgar Watts. Penalty: Watts.

Griffons 41 (16) Leopards 20 (3)

Wing Reinhardt Erwee was the star of the show in Welkom, his 26-point haul giving those 200 die hard Griffons fans in attendance renewed hope that their team have finally turned the corner after a couple of lean seasons.

The Griffons kicked off their season with a come-from-behind 37-27 away win over the Valke in Round 1, and in similar but more familiar surroundings the home side sounded a warning that they are not to be taken lightly by the chasing pack.

Erwee kicked 21 points and bagged another five with an excellent try, but the scoreboard doesn’t reflect entirely just how tough the match was against a Leopards side coming off an impressive 32-23 home victory over the Pumas in Round 1.

There were only seven points in it as the match entered the last 15 minutes, the Griffons holding onto a slender 27-20 lead. But Erwee then crossed for a try he converted himself, before centre Werner Griesel’s post-hooter effort earned what could yet turn out to be a crucial bonus point.

Griffons – Tries: Japie Nel, Tertius Maarman, Reinhardt Erwee, Werner Griesel. Conversions: Erwee (3). Penalties: Erwee (5).
Leopards – Tries: George Tossel (2), Juan Pretorius. Conversion: Adriaan Engelbrecht. Penalty: Gerhard Nortier.

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...

3 Comments

  1. Tank. For a second imagine yourself coach of the Sharks (A stretch I know)……
    With Kankowski looking to be back in form, Daniels the Captain, Marcell playing so darn well, Alberts being the match winning bruiser he is and Deysel being so solid. How would you as a coach combine that combination of five into a match-day three?
    Interested to see how you would best utilise those five…..

    • Yep, it’s a tough one. But would start with Saturday’s 3 after seeing how well they played, and have both Deysel and Alberts on the becnh, and they would then have to cover lock as well if there was an injury. But would the try to get the locks to play the full 80, and bring on the bruisers at about the 50 minute mark for Kanko and Coetzee with Daniel moving to 8 … But would be properly tempted to start with Alberts at 7, Daniel at 8, and Coetzee at 6, then bring Kanko and Deysel on later ….

      • I think I would agree with starting Alberts as well. All in all a pretty nice “problem” for the sharks to have.
        If only they had started the seson on fire and not been so inconsistent this year