The Vodacom Bulls scored the first four-try bonus point of the season on local soil in Bloemfontein on Saturday as they beat the Toyota Cheetahs 51-19 to move to the top of the table after two weeks of Vodacom Super Rugby action.
In the process, Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn followed in the footsteps of Dan Carter and Stirling Mortlock to become the first South African and third player overall to reach 1 000 Vodacom Super Rugby points.
Also on Saturday, the DHL Stormers kept The Sharks tryless for a third successive game and even though they also failed to cross the tryline, the team from Cape Town still won this coastal derby, 15-12, at DHL Newlands.
On Friday evening in Johannesburg, a late Hurricanes penalty goal broke the MTN Lions’ hearts as the visitors from New Zealand left South Africa on the back of a 30-28 victory. Both teams scored three tries each.
Note: By clicking on the score-lines below, you will be routed to the statistical breakdown for that specific match on www.sarugby.co.za, where team line-ups, replacements and run of play can be found.
MTN Lions 28 / Hurricanes 30
With a little more than a minute left on the clock, it looked like the MTN Lions were on their way to a second victory on the trot, but Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett had the last laugh at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg as his late penalty goal gave the team from the New Zealand capital victory by 30-28.
The home team were left ruing injuries to two of their props, JC Janse van Rensburg and CJ van der Linde, which lead to uncontested scrums for the last 45 minutes of the match. Up until that stage, the MTN Lions had the upper hand upfront, but they could not capitalise on it in the second half.
Although the Hurricanes lead 14-8 at the break, the MTN Lions fought back with a try by Franco van der Merwe and were in front by 18-17 when the visitors scored two tries in three minutes around the hour-mark.
Still the MTN Lions didn’t let go, Butch James crossing the tryline and Elton Jantjies adding the extras, and with a minute to go, they were in front by 28-27. But a transgression in their own 22 gave Barrett the opportunity to slot his fifth penalty goal to clinch the match.
MTN Lions – Tries: Jaco Taute, Franco van der Merwe, Butch James. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty goals: Taute, Jantjies (2).
Hurricanes – Tries: André Taylor, Dane Cole, Cory Jane. Penalty goals: Beauden Barrett (5).
Toyota Cheetahs 19 / Vodacom Bulls 51
Despite finishing the game with only 13 players, the Vodacom Bulls outscored the Toyota Cheetahs by six tries to one at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein to record the first four-try bonus point on South African soil of the 2012-season.
It was the second biggest victory for the Vodacom Bulls over their opponents from Bloemfontein. The biggest of their eight wins over the Toyota Cheetahs came in the Free State capital in 2008, when the team from Pretoria won by 60-20. In 2010 the Bulls also scored 51 points, but then they conceded 34.
The Vodacom Bulls were ahead by 31-12 at the break and built their victory on a massive forward onslaught. Both props, Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger, scored tries, while fullback Zane Kirchner crossed for a brace.
In the second half, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard was sent off with a red card for a tip tackle and flanker Jacques Potgieter got a yellow card for a shoulder charge, but that did not break the Vodacom Bulls’ momentum.
Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn contributed 21 points, which saw him become the first South African and third player overall to reach 1 000 Vodacom Super Rugby points. The Bok pivot is now on 1 012 points.
Toyota Cheetahs – Try: Adriaan Strauss. Conversion: Johan Goosen. Penalty goals: Goosen (4).
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Dean Greyling, Werner Kruger, Bjorn Basson, Zane Kirchner (2), JJ Engelbrecht. Conversions: Morné Steyn (6). Penalty goals: Steyn (3).
DHL Stormers 15 / The Sharks 12
It was not a game that will be remembered for too long, but the DHL Stormers got what they wanted as they beat The Sharks by 15-12 in a tight affair at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening.
The difference was a late penalty goal from the sideline by DHL Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant, who only joined the team this week from Japan. Before Grant took to the field, regular kicker Joe Pietersen was only successful with three from seven attempts at goal.
Neither side really threatened the other’s tryline as the kickers dominated. Pat Lambie slotted four penalty goals from six for The Sharks, who lead by 9-6 at the break.
It was the DHL Stormers’ second victory of the season as The Sharks returned to Durban with their second bonus point for losing by less than seven points.
DHL Stormers –Penalty goals: Joe Pietersen (3), Peter Grant (2).
The Sharks – Penalty goals: Pat Lambie (4).
Other results – Round 2:
Chiefs 29 Blues 14 (Hamilton)
Rebels 19 Waratahs 35 (Melbourne)
Highlanders 27 Crusaders 25 (Dunedin)
Reds 35 Force 20 (Brisbane)