The Emirates Lions maintained their winning streak with a comprehensive 47-10 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday morning (SA time), while the Cell C Sharks continued with their quest for a place in the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs by outplaying the Western Force 37-12 in their Durban encounter.
Despite an improved performance and a hard-fought lead with just five minutes remaining on the clock, the Toyota Cheetahs had to witness how the Highlanders snatched a last-gasp 45-41 victory from them in Bloemfontein. The Highlanders ran in three tries at the end for one of the competition’s most dramatic fightback wins.
Meanwhile, the Crusaders marched on with their unbeaten record still intact following their 62-24 triumph over the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. It was the home team’s biggest defeat at Loftus while the Crusaders managed to win there for the first time since 2008.
The DHL Stormers were the first team in action this weekend, however, they returned home on the back of Friday’s 41-22 defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington.
In Saturday’s late and lively evening fixture played in Buenos Aires, the Jaguares had to fight hard for their come-from-behind 46-39 win over the gritty Sunwolves of Japan. In doing so, the Argentine side managed to halt a four-match losing sequence thanks to their successful efforts that saw them wiped out a 12 points deficit in the last 14 minutes.
The Southern Kings side had a rest weekend.
The Joburg side have won nine of their ten matches to date and are the leading SA side in the competition on 42 points. The team from Durban is second in this conference with 32 points from seven wins in their ten matches.
Victory over the Sunwolves left the Jaguares with a slim chance of making the playoffs as they trail Robert du Preez’s team by eight points with five games to play.
Robbie Fleck’s outfit heads the Africa Conference 1 table on 26 points from six wins in ten matches. The Crusaders are leading the NZ conference on 46 points while the Brumbies (18 points from nine matches) are the top Australian side.
Vodacom Bulls 24, Crusaders 62
Vodacom Bulls – Try: Jesse Kriel, Jamba Ulengo, Jan Serfontein; Conversions: Francois Brummer (3); Penalty: Tian Schoeman.
Crusaders – Tries: Pete Samu, Tim Bateman, Scott Barrett, Jack Goodhue (2), Seta Tamanivalu, David Havilli, Richie Mo’anga, Andrew Makalio, Mitchell Hunt; Conversion: Richie Mo’anga (5); Mitchell Hunt (1).
Cell C Sharks 37, Force 12
Cell C Sharks 37 – Tries: Jeremy Ward, Jean-Luc du Preez, Curwin Bosch, Lukhanyo Am; Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3), Pat Lambie; Penalties: Bosch (3).
Force 12 – Tries: James Verity-Amm, Marcel Brache; Conversion: Ian Prior.
Toyota Cheetahs 41, Highlanders 45
Toyota Cheetahs 41 – tries: Tian Meyer (2), Sergeal Petersen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Oupa Mohoje, Ox Nche; Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (4); Penalty: Zeilinga.
Highlanders 45 – tries: Marty Banks, Rob Thompson, Waisake Naholo (2), Matt Faddes, Tevita Lee; Conversions: Banks (6); Penalty: Banks.
Melbourne Rebels 10, Emirates Lions 47
Melbourne Rebels 10 – Try: Tom English; Conversion: Reece Hodge; Penalty: Hodge.
Emirates Lions 47 – Tries: Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronje, Courtnall Skosan, Sylvian Mahuza, Penalty Try, Anthony Volmink, Warren Whiteley; Conversions: Elton Jantjies (5).
Hurricanes 41, DHL Stormers 22
Hurricanes 41 – Tries: Corey Jane, Jordi Barrett, Julian Savea, Ardi Savea, Ngani Laumape (2), Beauden Barrett; Conversions: Jordie Barrett (3).
DHL Stormers 22 – Try: Ramone Samuels; Conversion: Robert du Preez; Penalties: SP Marais (4), Robert du Preez.
Other Round 11 results:
Saturday, 6 May
Chiefs 46, Reds 17
Waratahs 33, Blues 40
Jaguares 46, Sunwolves 39
Weekend Off: Southern Kings
Here are the Updated logs after Round 11:
Africa Conference 1
Africa Conference 2
New Zealand Conference
Source: SA Rugby Communications