Super Rugby 2018 Week 2: The South African Teams

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Super Rugby 2018 Week 2 saw the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions record wins, and the DHL Stormers gift the Waratahs victory on a golden platter in Sydney.

Ryan Jordan gives you the detail you need for the Monday morning rugby chat around the water cooler.

Waratahs 34 DHL Stormers 27

Waratahs: Tries: Israel Folau, Michael Cooper, Damian Fitzpatrick, Ned Hanigan Conversions: Bernard Foley 4 Penalties: Bernard Foley 2

DHL Stormers: Tries: Steven Kitshoff, Kobus van Dyk, SP Marais Conversions: SP Marais 3 Penalties: SP Marais 2

“If at first, you do not succeed, try, try and try again”. A wonderful positive adage to live by, but not necessarily when trying to close out a rugby game. In the 75th minute, they went for tail ball at the lineout and butchered it. The resultant turnover had them under severe pressure for a number of phases. In the 80th minute, looking to close the game out, the same lineout call was made. The over-throw was snapped up by the Waratahs and ended up in the match-winning try by Ned Hannigan.

This is is not the sole reason the Stormers lost this game, but does indicate where they are in terms of mental sharpness and decision-making. Taking a look the most important match statistics such as scrum and lineout success, carries and rucks, the Stormers generally find themselves in the top 4 in the rankings. Decision making and error rate would need a lot of work before next week’s tough match against the Crusaders in Christchurch. Highlights of the Stormers versus Waratahs game can be viewed here.

Emirates Lions 47 Jaguares 27

Emirates Lions – Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi 2, Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Warren Whiteley; Penalty try; Conversions: Elton Jantjies 5.

Jaguares – Tries: Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy 2; Conversions: Nicholas Sanchez 3; Penalties: Nicholas Sanchez and Emiliano Boffelli

Despite a surfeit of possession in the opening quarter, the Lions were put under pressure by impressive line-speed from the Jaguares. Going into the second quarter, the Lions slowed the pace down a little and eventually put the impressive Aphiwe Dyantyi over for the first of his two tries.

Emiliano Boffelli delivered the obligatory yellow card for the Jaquares. In a clumsy tackle, he knocked the ball down and prevented a certain try. In the second half, the Jaguares conceded a slew of penalties, stopping any momentum that they had managed to build up. The Lions took full toll of this and built up a commanding lead.

The Jaguares conceded their second yellow card in the 70th minute when Julian Montoya was sent from the field for using his shoulder while diving into a tackle. The Lions did not take full advantage of their superior numbers and conceded two tries before pulling one back with a final try by captain Warren Whiteley. Highlights of the game can be viewed here.

For the Lions, Lionel Mapoe and and Aphiwe Dyantyi were very impressive. The next stop in the Lions’ quest for Super Rugby glory will be against the Bulls at Loftus Versveld.

Vodacom Bulls 21 Hurricanes 19

Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Johnny Kotze, Lood de Jager, Pierre Schoeman Penalties: Pollard (2)

Hurricanes – Tries: Ricky Riccatelli, Wes Goosen, Beauden Barrett Conversions: Ihaia West, Beauden Barrett

Bulls supporters were mostly hoping that their very youthful team could at least take the Hurricanes deep into the game and walk away with possibly a losing bonus point. Those same spectators who pitched up for this game saw a stylish duel between the two teams end up into physical trench warfare.

The Hurricanes played their usual game and kept passing the ball wide and continually looking for space. The Bulls responded with a game plan using a lot of short inter-passing between their forwards. This added a surprising element to the Bulls game and the deft touches from giant locks Lood de Jager and RG Snyman challenged the Hurricanes in midfield. De Jager will be telling his grandchildren about the day he scored a try at Loftus from 40 meters out, outstripping the cover defense to dive over in the corner.

The final quarter of the game became very physical, with the pressure of performance forcing both teams to play a lot tighter. It was loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman’s try that finally handed the Bulls the lead and the win. Highlights of the game can be viewed here.

This is a very young Bulls team, having their first outing under new Head Coach John Mitchell. They are playing a much more expansive game than they have played in many years. They will lose games this year but they are sure to deliver a surprise or two as well.

The Bulls face the Lions at Loftus Versfeld next week, whilst the Hurricanes move on to Argentina to take on the Jaguares.

The Sharks had the bye this weekend and host the Waratahs in Durban.

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