A look at the weekend’s rugby action:

A special weekend as three SA sides make it into the Super Rugby playoffs … The conference system gets pretty badly exposed though, as 6th on the log (Reds on 58 points) actually ends up third because of them winning the Australian  conference. And the top two sides on the log are yet to play each other given the random draw that sees some teams missing out on playing against each other in the pool stages …

So if the Reds and Crusaders win their quarter finals this weekend, then the Stormers will have “Won” the right to play the men from Christchurch, even though they have more points than the Reds! Could the Stormers sue SANZAR for the right, earned by toppping the table, to play the side with the least points on the log table?

Super Rugby results:
Bulls 37 – 20 Lions
Sharks 34 – 15 Cheetahs
Stormers 26 – 21 Rebels
Reds 32 – 16 Waratahs
Crusaders 38 – 24 Force
Brumbies 16 – 30 Blues
Hurricanes 28 – 25 Chiefs

S15 Log:
Stormers Pld:16 W:14 Pts:66
Chiefs Pld:16 W:12 Pts:64
Reds Pld:16 W:11 Pts:58
Crusaders Pld:16 W:11 Pts:61
Bulls Pld:16 W:10 Pts:59
Sharks Pld:16 W:10 Pts:59

Brumbies Pld:16 W:10 Pts:58
Hurricanes Pld:16 W:10 Pts:57
Highlanders Pld:16 W:9 Pts:50
Cheetahs Pld:16 W:5 Pts:38
Waratahs Pld:16 W:4 Pts:35
Blues Pld:16 W:4 Pts:32
Rebels Pld:16 W:4 Pts:32
Force Pld:16 W:3 Pts:27
Lions Pld:16 W:3 Pts:25

Next week’s S15 fixtures:
Sat 21 July
09:35 Crusaders vs Bulls
11:40 Reds vs Sharks

Club rugby results:
BLUE BULLS: Pta Police 22-7 Centurion, Pta Harlequins 7-83 Naka Bulls, Silver Valke 14-15 Oostelike Eagles
PREDATOR: Union 19-29 Wits, Springs 29-28 Rustenburg Impala, Randfontein 68-33 Alberton, UJ 48-14 NWU Vaal, Roodepoort 29-39 Brakpan, Boksburg 26-30 Pirates, Benoni 13-39 NWU Pukke
BORDER, EP, SWD: Games cancelled due to bad weather
WP: SKW 47-24 False Bay

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

Currie Cup 1st division results:
Valke 20 – 37 EP
Griffons 29 – 24 Border
Boland 21 – 23 Leopards

U21 results:
Lions 19 – 25 Western Province
Cheetahs 28 – 0 Leopards
Border 28 – 23 Blue Bulls

Craven Week

SWD (13) 20 – Tries: Martinus Vermeulen, Jurgens Schoeman, Jean-Pierre Coetzee. Conversion: Warrick Gelant. Penalty: Gelant.
Boland (7) 10 – Try: Willbur Boonzaaier. Conversion: Colin Willemse. Penalty: Schalk Hugo.

Griffons 34 v Griquas CD 5

Griquas 57 v Border CD 0

Namibia (7) 28 – Tries: Wian Conradie, Leon Feris, Divan Visser (2). Conversions: Chris Arries (3), Visser.
Zimbabwe (0) 7 – Try: Nicholas Burnett. Conversion: Rukudzo Gona.

WP (17) 29 – Tries: Pieter Schoonraad, Jason Worrall (2), Dennis Cox (2). Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (2).
Pumas (7) 14 – Tries: Wilmar Arnoldi, Jeremia Gouws. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (2).

Border (0) 7 – Try: Somila Jho. Conversion: Akhona Sihunu.
Limpopo (10) 20 – Tries: Viljoen Dreyer, Matjikinyane Molapo, Manuel Pinto. Conversion: Marcel Scholtz. Penalty: Scholtz.

EP (6) 27 – Tries: Thembalethu Williams, Sergeal Petersen, Gabriel le Roux. Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg (3). Penalties: Stapelberg (2).
KZN (12) 24 – Tries: Joshua Moon (2). Conversion: Robert Anderson. Penalties: Anderson (4).

Valke (5) 5 – Try: Anton Viljoen.
Free State (13) 30 – Tries: Stephan Janse van Rensburg, Pieter Jordaan, Marius Louw, Cornelius Kramer. Conversions: Olwethu Ndakisa, Jordaan. Penalties: Dylan Harlen, Jordaan.

Blue Bulls (10) 47 – Tries: Rohan Janse van Rensburg (2), Thabo Mabuza, Jurie Linde, Jaco Hayward, Marquit September, Steven Meiring. Conversions: Ryno Eksteen (3). Penalties: Eksteen (2).
Golden Lions 0

SA Schools trials squad named

A 50-man trials squad instead of an SA Schools team, as has been the custom at previous Under-18 Craven Weeks, was announced on Saturday. The trial match will take place on 28 July, with a squad of 28 set to be named afterwards to take on Wales, France and England next month.

Western Province’s Chris October will coach the SA Schools team, with Boland’s David Coert the team manager.

The squad: Bongile Nonkontwana (Blue Bulls), Aidon Davis (EP), Akhona Sihunu (Border), Caswell Khoza (Blue Bulls), Chad Solomon (WP), Chris Massyn (Golden Lions), Christiaan Meyer (Valke), Courtney Cupido (Boland), Daniel du Preez (KZN), Dayan van der Westhuizen (Blue Bulls), Duhan van der Merwe (SWD), Dylon Smith (Golden Lions), Edward Schmidt (Free State), Francois Esterhuizen (Boland), Ganfried May (SWD), Gideon Koegelenberg (Boland), Handre Pollard (WP), Heinrich Viljoen (Blue Bulls), Hyron Andrews (Blue Bulls), Jako van der Walt (Golden Lions), Jano Venter (Pumas), Jason Worrall (WP), JD Schickerling (WP), Jean-Luc du Preez (KZN), Jesse Kriel (KZN), Johan Bannink (Blue Bulls), Johan Labuschagne (Valke), Jurie Linde (Blue Bulls), Justin Philips (Blue Bulls), Koch Marx (Golden Lions), Leighton van Wyk (WP), Liam Hendricks (WP), Malcolm Marx (Golden Lions), Marcus Kleinbooi (Blue Bulls), Matjikinyane Molapo (Blue Bulls), Nicholas Janse van Resnburg (Blue Bulls), Ox Nche (Free State), Pierre Schoeman (Blue Bulls), Ramone Samuels (WP), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls), Rynard Snyman (Griffons), Ryno Eksteen (Blue Bulls), Sandile Kubeka (KZN), Selwyn Davids (EP), Sergeal Petersen (EP), Stephan Vermeulen (Golden Lions), Thabo Mabuza (Blue Bulls), Warrick Galant (SWD), Wesley Adonis (WP), Wilco Louw (Boland).

Front Row Grunt SuperBru: Well done to Geoff Hemmingson for his yellow cap which moves him a good few places up the leaderboard, but it’s Bubbles25 who continues to hold fort at the top of the of the log! Tank’s seemingly average 5 from 7 drops him way back into the bottom half of the 575 strong field …

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

Weekend match reports:
Currie Cup 1st division:
Griffons (10) 29 Border (3) 24
The Griffons continued their unbeaten run at the North West Stadium, with the competition’s top point-scorer, left wing Reinhardt Erwee, scoring two tries and kicking three conversions and a penalty to give the men from Welkom a full house of 15 log points after three matches.

The Bulldogs scored three good tries, which gave the East London side a bonus point, but they nevertheless slumped to a third straight defeat and Border fans look set for yet another long season propping up the table.

Both sides showed enterprise in less-than-ideal conditions and produced seven tries between them, with Erwee joined on the Griffons’ team sheet by barnstorming centre Japie Nel and his twinkle-toed midfield partner Werner Griesel.

For the Bulldogs, who trailed 10-0 early on and spent most of the first half tackling their opponents, livewire replacement scrumhalf Sinovuyo Nyoka scored a try on the hour that kept his side in the game, while late tries from fullback Thembani Mkokeli and right wing Chrislyn van Schalkwyk at least ensured that the visitors would not return to the Eastern Cape empty-handed.

Griffons – Tries: Werner Griesel, Reinhardt Erwee (2), Japie Nel. Conversions: Erwee (3). Penalty: Erwee.
Bulldogs – Tries: Thembani Mkokeli, Sinovuyo Nyoka, Chrislyn van Schalkwyk. Conversions: Louis Kruger (2), Ntabeni Dukisa. Penalty: Dukisa.

Boland (7) 21 Leopards (10) 23
Boland, despite finishing strongly against the visiting Leopards, slumped to their third defeat of the season. Things could have been very different however, as home flyhalf Elgar Watts missed an injury-time penalty from the touchline that would have given the Bolanders victory.

Both sides scored three tries, but it was replacement flanker Milroy Isaacs’ late effort for the Kavaliers which brought the biggest cheer of the afternoon from the 1,300-strong crowd, who sensed a famous come-from-behind win victory.

But it was not to be as the Leopards defended manfully for the last 10 minutes to take the spoils. The visitors enjoyed a perfect start, going 7-0 up after just five minutes thanks to a try from second-rower Siyanda Ndlovu and a conversion by veteran former Springbok flyhalf Andrè Pretorius.

Watts brought the Kavaliers to within three points of the Leopards at the break when he darted through for a try he converted himself. The home side took the lead after halftime with a converted try to flanker Franzel September, but a 13-point spree by the Leopards gave them a lead that, in the final analysis, proved to be just enough.

Kavaliers – Tries: Milroy Isaacs, Franzel September, Elgar Watts. Conversions: Watts (3).
Leopards – Tries: Siyanda Ndlovu, Hoffman Maritz, Edgar Marutlulle. Conversion: Andrè Pretorius. Penalties: Adriaan Engelbrecht (2).

SWD (9) 22 Pumas (8) 16
Former WP flyhalf Kurt Coleman was the hero for the SWD at Outeniqua Park in George as his faultless personal haul of 14 points made all the difference.

The visitors raced to an early 8-0 lead thanks to a try from flanker RW Kember and a penalty from flyhalf JC Roos, but any fears the home supporters had that their side would be outmuscled were allayed as the Eagles slowly but surely fought their way back.

Such was SWD’s turnaround that they actually led 22-11 until an injury-time try from the Pumas gave the men from Mpumalanga, whose indiscipline was telling in the final outcome, a losing bonus point.

Coleman capitalised on the Pumas’ indiscretions with four well-taken penalties, while the pivot also converted his halfback partner Johan Herbst’s 44th-minute try on a cold and wet Southern Cape evening.

SWD  – Try: Johan Herbst. Conversion: Kurt Coleman. Penalties: Coleman (4), Theuns Kotze.
Pumas – Tries: RW Kember, Renaldo Bothma. Penalties: JC Roos (2).

Valke (8) 20 EP (24) 37
EP picked up their third win in a row at an icy Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.

The visitors had the match virtually sewn up by halftime as they led 24-8 thanks to tries from prodigal son Michael Killian – who has returned to Port Elizabeth after a successful spell at the Lions – Kiwi prop Clint Newland and former Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe.

The Valke were dealt an early blow when tighthead prop Nico Engelbrecht was injured and his replacement, Hannes Ludik, was sin-binned shortly afterwards to give the Kings a one-man advantage that Killian took advantage of.

Tireless Valke eighthman Reg Muller scored his team’s first try just before the break, but the Kings responded after halftime with a try to replacement prop Lizo Gqoboka that made it 31-8.

The Valke fought back strongly with tries to wing JW Bell and replacement loose forward Uzair Cassiem to cut the deficit to 11 points, but the Kings, showing good composure, closed out the game with two penalties from the boot of replacement flyhalf Wesley Dunlop.

Valke – Tries: JW Bell, Reg Muller, Uzair Cassiem. Conversion: Karlo Aspeling. Penalty: Aspeling.
Kings – Tries: Michael Killian, Lizo Gqoboka, Jongi Nokwe, Clint Newland. Conversions: George Whitehead (4). Penalties: Whitehead, Wesley Dunlop (2).

Super Rugby:

Stormers 26 (16) Rebels 21 (0)
The Chiefs’ last-minute defeat meant the Stormers only needed a win against the Rebels to move to first spot on the log, which they duly did …

They struggled to put together a complete performance, though, with the two tries they scored being  the fewest ever conceded by the Rebels against a South African team. But it was also the team from Melbourne’s eighth consecutive defeat against SA teams from.

It also meant that the Stormers went through the entire season without scoring any bonus points for four tries – they are the first side to make the playoffs doing that.

The 28 tries scored by the Stormers are the least by any team in the competition this year. The 21 scored against them , though, is also the fewest in 2012.

Juan de Jongh got a brace, while Peter Grant added 16 points with the boot through two conversions and four penalty goals. He didn’t miss a single shot at goal and pushed his season tally up to a superb 45 from 49 kicks at goal.

Stormers – Tries: Juan de Jongh (2). Conversions: Peter Grant (2). Penalty goals: Grant (4).
Rebels – Tries: Rodney Blake, Nick Phipps, Cooper Vuna. Conversions: Julian Huxley (3).

Sharks 34 (6) Cheetahs 15 (15)
A superb second-half performance by The Sharks was enough to book their place in the quarter finals.

At the break, the visitors were in the lead, but the banana boys moved into a higher gear willing the second half 28-0, scoring four converted tries in the process.

Interestingly all three The Sharks’ starting loose forwards, Keegan Daniel, Marcell Coetzee and Ryan Kankowski, got on the score sheet, while Charl McLeod (scrumhalf) got their other try.

Their defence was also very solid, for a second consecutive week since the June Test break. Last week against the Bulls they conceded one try and on Saturday The Sharks kept a clean sheet against a Cheetahs side that have shown they can score tries.

The Sharks were disrupted with a few changes before kickoff, but once they settled in the second half – coupled with an injury to the Cheetahs’ breakaway Heinrich Brüssow – the Sharks found their groove and booked their spot in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Sharks – Tries: Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod, Marcell Coetzee, Ryan Kankowski. Conversions: Fred Michalak (4). Penalty goals: Michalak (2).
Cheetahs – Penalty goals: Riaan Smit (5).

Bulls 37 (20) Lions 20 (20)
Last year the Bulls missed out by losing their final match, against The Sharks, but they didn’t make the same mistake this year. The Bulls made the playoffs for the sixth time in eight years, finishing fifth on the log …

The Bulls scored four tries but could not convert at least three other try-scoring opportunities, making too many unforced errors in the process.

Akona Ndungane got an intercept try in the first half while Bjorn Basson got his 10th try of the season when he ran a great line off Francois Hougaard.

Basson set a new Bulls record for the most tries in a season and is the joint-leader with the Hurricanes’ Andre Taylor for the most tries in 2012.

The Lions fought back with tries to Michael Bondesio and Josh Strauss before the break, but in the second half Hougaard and Jacques Potgieter scored for the home side to put them firmly back into the lead.

Morné Steyn added 17 points to finish the season as the top points’ scorer with 225 – one more than Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs.

Bulls – Tries: Akona Ndungane, Bjorn Basson, Francois Hougaard, Jacques Potgieter. Conversions: Morné Steyn (4). Penalty goals: Steyn (3).
Lions – Tries: Michael Bondesio, Josh Strauss. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Jantjies (2).

One Comment

  1. I don’t think SARFU could sue for the right to play the lowest side – apparently they were the one’s who insisted on the conference system!!!

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