Weekend WRAP …

The weekend’s rugby results:

Super Rugby:
Reds 42-27 Chiefs
Stormers 16 – 14 Cheetahs
Sharks 53 – 11 Force
Rebels 28 – 19 Crusaders
Highlanders 20 – 26 Hurricanes
Waratahs 24 – 27 Bulls
Blues 25 – 3 Lions

* Full match reports at the base of this post

Vodacom Cup:
Western Province 33 – 20 Pumas
Griquas 30 – 17 Blue Bulls

Aviva Premiership semi finals:
Harlequins 25 – 23 Northampton
Leicester 24 – 15 Saracens

Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 57 – 14 Brive
Biarritz 16 – 5 Stade Francais
Agen 25 – 22 Racing Metro
Bordeaux 37 – 29 Perpignan
Castres 31 – 29 Bayonne
Lyon 5 – 29 Toulon
Toulouse 20 – 13 Montpellier

Selected club results:
Villager 36-23 False Bay
Victorians 34-26 Belhar
UCT 36-28 SK Walmers
Maties 20-22 DurBell

Select schoolboy results:
Paarl Gym 28-8 Paul Roos
Affies 35-29 Grey College
SACS 10-19 Paarl Boys
Tygerberg 31-10 Stellenberg
Bishops 10-39 Drostdy
Jeppe 9-40 Pretoria Boys

London Sevens:
FIJI 38 – 15 SAMOA Final

ENGLAND 12 – 14 AUSTRALIA Final Plate
WALES 27 – 5 SCOTLAND Final Bowl
UNITED STATES 12 – 19 FRANCE Final Shield



SAMOA 22 – 7 SPAIN ¼ Final Cup
FIJI 21 – 14 ENGLAND ¼ Final Cup

Final Series Standings
2 FIJI – 161
3 ENGLAND – 135
4 SAMOA – 133

And the next fixtures:

Vodacom Cup final:
Friday, May 18, 2012
15:00: Griquas v Western Province, Kimberley

Next weekend’s Super Rugby fixtures:

Friday, May 18, 2012
09:35: Hurricanes v Brumbies, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Saturday, May 19, 2012
07:30: Highlanders v Bulls, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
09:35: Crusaders v Blues, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
11:40: Reds v Lions, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
17:05: Cheetahs v Sharks, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
19:10: Stormers v Waratahs, DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

Sunday, May 20, 2012
08:35: Force v Rebels, NIB Stadium, Perth

Well done to Deon Louw for sneaking the Yellow Cap in the Front Row Grunt SuperBru pool, but it’s Brendan Wainwright who maintains a pretty tight grip on that top position on the log …

Super Rugby match reports and scorers:

Blues 25 (10) Lions 3 (3)

The Lions were kept try-less for the second time this season as the Blues beat them 25-3 in Auckland on Friday morning.

Elton Jantjies only had one shot at goal, which he converted, but the Blues dominated territory to keep the Lions pinned in their own half.

Yet again unforced errors didn’t help the Lions’ cause – most of the time when they had the ball, they coughed it up for the Blues to stay in the visitors’ territory.

Although the Lions conceded three tries, their defence was not bad and the Blues were perhaps slightly fortuitous that they managed to cross the try-line three times.

However, the impatience and mistakes on attack cost the Lions – not for the first time this year.

Blues – Tries: Michael Hobbs, Luke Braid, Alby Mathewson. Conversions: Gareth Anscombe (2). Penalty goals: Anscombe (2).

Lions – Penalty goal: Elton Jantjies.

Waratahs 24 (13) Bulls 27 (10)

A 78th minute try by Werner Kruger sealed a memorable albeit slightly lacklustre win for the Bulls in Sydney on Friday morning.

The team from Pretoria won their seventh straight match over the Waratahs and their third on the trot in Sydney when they triumphed by 27-24 after trialling by 13-10 at the break.

It wasn’t easy though – the visitors looked lethargic for most of the game, but the Waratahs could never really capitalise on the Bulls’ flatfootedness.

Rob Horne got a good first-half try for the hosts and Afa Pakalani crossed in the second half, but the Bulls also took their chances, with Francois Hougaard and Akona Ndungane crossing for five-pointers before Kruger’s heroics.

For large parts of the game the Waratahs were camped in the Bulls’ half of the field and this week Frans Ludeke’s team defended much better after conceding a raft of tries against the Brumbies and the Rebels.

For a second successive week Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn slotted all of his kicks at goal – five from five on Friday and seven from seven last weekend.

Waratahs – Tries: Rob Horne, Afa Pakalani. Conversion: Berrick Barnes. Penalty goals: Barnes (3), Brendan McKibbin.

Bulls – Tries: Francois Hougaard, Akona Ndungane, Werner Kruger. Conversions: Morné Steyn (3). Penalty goals: Steyn (2).

Sharks 53 (20) Force 11 (6)

Two moments of individual brilliance by Pat Lambie and Keegan Daniel stood out as The Sharks got their first 50-point haul in more than five years of Super Rugby when they smashed the Force by 53-11 at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

The last time they managed to score that many points, was in 2007 against the Reds (59-16) in Brisbane. In 1998, they crushed the Chiefs 52-18 in Port Elizabeth. Playing as Natal in 1996 and 1997, before the franchise system, they managed three 50-point hauls.

The Sharks scored seven tries on Saturday and completely outplayed the Western Australians in one of their best performances in recent years.

Lambie’s superb break, that lead to a try for Paul Jordaan, and Daniel’s tap, go and run in the build-up to Louis Ludik’s five-pointers, were two of the highlights of the game.

Lwazi Mvovo got a brace, both from intercepts and one involving some serious soccer skills, as the Sharks raced away with it in the second half.

However, it wasn’t only their attack that made The Sharks sparkle on Saturday, their defence was also rock-solid and the Force could only cross their try-line in the 80th minute.

This victory, coupled with the Highlanders’ defeat to the Hurricanes, saw The Sharks move into playoff contention for the first time this year. They are now sixth on the overall log.

Sharks – Tries: Lwazi Mvovo (2), Paul Jordaan, Steven Sykes, Louis Ludik, Craig Burden, Jacques Botes. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2), Frederic Michalak (4). Penalty goals: Lambie (2).

Force – Try: Samu Wara. Penalty goals: David Harvey (2).

Stormers 16 (16) Cheetahs 14 (0)

The Stormers had to dig deep to beat the Cheetahs by 16-14 at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening after the visitors from Central South Africa refused to give up when they looked dead and buried.

It was a typical match of two halves – the home side scored all their points in the first half and the Cheetahs all theirs after the break.

After 40 minutes it looked like the Stormers might run away with this one. They had the majority of the possession and controlled the game very well, with mistakes costing them a few more points.

During this period, the Cheetahs were also heavily penalised at scrum time, with Peter Grant slotting three penalty goals, as well as converting Eben Etzebeth’s try.

In the second half however, the Cheetahs got more ball and started bashing the Stormers. When Willie le Roux intercepted and ran 70 meters for his team’s second try, it set up a tense final 12 minutes.

Again the Stormers’ defensive composure held firm as they managed to squeeze out a win that will leave them somewhat perplexed, as they didn’t perform as well as they know they can. With the Waratahs en route to Cape Town and tough encounters in Durban and Pretoria coming up, the Capetonians know they will have to improve if they are going to push for a top two spot on the combined log.

Stormers – Try: Eben Etzebeth. Conversion: Peter Grant. Penalty goals: Grant (3).

Cheetahs – Tries: Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux. Conversions: Rian Smit (2).